The United States Supreme Court has overruled Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision guaranteeing a constitutional right to abortion. The controversial decision has already driven a response from high-profile developers and indies alike, including Bungie and several Sony studios, as well as an industry group.
Bungie and Sony studios issue statements
Bungie first signaled its support of Roe v. Wade in May, when news reports circulated of an anonymous leak of a draft opinion. The studio has now reconfirmed that commitment with a travel reimbursement plan for employees who have to travel for reproductive health care. It also provided links to resources for supporting reproductive rights. Several Hollywood studios have announced similar plans.
The social media accounts for several Sony studios all issued statements declaring that reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are human rights. You can find links to their statements in the list below.
Previously, Insomniac pledged $50,000 to an abortion rights group, with Sony matching its contribution. This followed a backlash from both within and outside the company over Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan urging employees to “respect differences of opinion” regarding abortion rights.
Activision, Microsoft, Ubisoft, and more speak up
Microsoft issued a statement to GameSpot reaffirming the previous commitments it made to the Washington Post in May.
“Microsoft will continue to do everything we can under the law to support our employees and their enrolled dependents in accessing critical healthcare–which already includes services like abortion and gender-affirming care–regardless of where they live across the U.S. This support has been extended to include travel expense assistance for these and other lawful medical services where access to care is limited in availability in an employee’s home geographic region.”
Activision also issued a statement to GameSpot committing to travel assistance for employees.
“Maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for all is a top priority for Activision Blizzard and includes supporting the physical and mental well-being of everyone who works here, including their dependents. Earlier in June, we announced our expanded medical travel benefits to include coverage for U.S. employees and their dependents who participate in our medical plans and live in areas where access to medical care, including reproductive health, gender-affirming treatment, transplant care, and any other medical care covered by our plans that is not available in a covered person’s state, or within 100 miles of where they live.”
EA issued a statement through its website, promising expanded travel health benefits and encouraging employees to speak to their managers about mental health benefits.
“As EA’s executive team, we want to reiterate our unwavering support for you, our employees. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade regarding abortion in the United States. We know this issue matters, generating a range of emotions for you and your loved ones, whether you’re based in the U.S. or abroad.
“Your health and well-being are our top priority. We are working closely with our U.S. healthcare provider, Cigna, and will soon offer expanded travel health benefits, for eligible U.S. employees and their eligible dependents. Our aim is to provide the support and services that empower you and your eligible dependents to get the care needed to be the best, most authentic version of yourself at work and in other areas of your life.”
Ubisoft, Devolver Digital, and several indie studios like Fire Hose Games and Heart Machine have also issued statements through their own social media channels. More studios are issuing statements regularly as the day goes on, and you can find their social media statements below. For some studios which have not outlined benefits, it’s unclear if they will offer extra help such as travel assistance.
Many others studios have not issued statements. Some may be cautious to wade into politics. EA reportedly told its employees it wouldn’t be taking a stance last month, leading to a planned employee walkout. Those plans were canceled after EA made a statement in support of transgender and women’s rights. GameSpot has contacted several publishers and developers seeking statements on the matter, and will update as we hear back. Take-Two declined to comment.
The International Game Developers Association statement
In addition to these individual developer statements, the International Game Developers Association has issued a statement:
“The International Game Developers Association supports and empowers game developers around the world in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers. We believe bodily autonomy and choice over one’s own reproductive and healthcare matters are pertinent to achieving this mission. One must be in control of their own health matters in order to successfully manage their career and life.
“As a global organization, we understand that not all individuals experience or have access to freedoms and liberties pertaining to bodily autonomy, and we oppose efforts to weaken existing liberties. We are deeply concerned by increased government interventions undermining and limiting reproductive choice and access to care. We applaud and show solidarity with games industry and community leaders who are taking action to support all who are negatively impacted by these attempts.”
How you can help
If you’re looking to help, we’ve compiled a list of charities helping in the fight for reproductive freedom.
Image credit: Getty Images/Rudy Sulgan
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