Democratic governors can’t exactly offer companies a competitive economic environment, but they can promise Big Business that their employees will have access to abortion.
For some reason, progressive governors like Gavin Newsom in California and Phil Murphy in New Jersey think that kind of sales pitch will help lure back companies that have since left their states.
“We’ve got your back, but come back,” Newsom said at a news conference Friday while touting California’s liberal abortion laws on Friday. “Some of you may have left the state, come on back. Some businesses may have left, come on back. It’s a point of pride that we welcome you back; we want to celebrate that we have you back.”
Murphy made a more direct appeal recently, sending personal letters to firms across the country.
Shortly after it was leaked that the Supreme Court of the United States was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported that Murphy sent seven companies in The Peach Tree State a letter, warning that the repeal of Roe would make it more difficult for them to attract “top female talent.”
“The overturning of a woman’s right to bodily autonomy — and the chilling effect this decision will have on your ability to attract and retain top female talent by being located in a state which has refused to recognize women’s reproductive freedom — cannot be ignored,” one letter said, according to AJC.
The paper noted that Murphy’s office also sent a version of that letter “to more than 50 companies in states with anti-abortion laws, including Florida, Missouri, Ohio and Texas.”
“Economic strength is about more than just value — it is about values,” Alyana Alfaro Post, press secretary for Murphy, said in a statement provided to AJC.
“Governor Murphy encourages businesses looking to stand with their employees to look to New Jersey, a state where they can be confident that the rights of women, the LGBTQIA+ community, and voters will always be protected,” she added.
Other Democratic governors like Connecticut’s Ned Lamont have also attempted to convince businesses in red states to move to the solidly-blue Nutmeg State.
“We don’t have oil and natural gas, but we have one of the most productive, best trained, most innovative workforces in the world. And that starts with the fact that we have more women participating in our workforce than just about anywhere else,” Lamont said in a video pitch that was posted to Twitter last September.
“We’re a family-friendly state that respects women. I know some of you are in states like Texas which are outlawing a woman’s right to choose. We have codified, we are protecting a woman’s right to choose because that’s about respect,” he added.
“Look, any of you business owners thinking about making a move — give me a call. I’d love to hear from you,” Lamont concluded.
A message to all businesses in states that are restricting the rights of women and aren’t putting families first with their policies. pic.twitter.com/xSF8hUA3vA
— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) September 10, 2021
In response to these sorts of tactics, economic expert and founder of Beacon Economics Christopher Thornberg, called the ideas “nonsensical.”
“Businesses don’t locate somewhere because of abortion access or not,” he told Politico. “Where you locate is a function of 100 things, and that is such a trivial part of the conversation.”