Dallas-based Match Group, which operates dating apps like Tinder and Hinge, told employees that it would suspend donations to the Republican Attorneys General Association, which supported the overturn of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
The announcement comes after Match unveiled a fund in October for Texas employees who need safe access to abortion care through a partnership with Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles. The company is evaluating ways to expand the policy to all of its U.S. employees, including remote employees in trigger law states. Match’s health care plans cover travel and lodging costs for any employee who needs to travel out of state to receive care.
The company will also end its support of the Democratic Attorneys General Association, according to the New York Times. Match Group donated more than $100,000 to the association last year, along with more than $100,000 to the Democratic Attorneys General Association, the New York Times reported. It’s common for large corporations to give to groups affiliated with both political parties.
In 2021, Match’s OkCupid app, which uses multiple-choice questions to match members, introduced a pro-choice badge that users can add to their profiles to show their support for abortion access.
The company also joined the “Don’t Ban Equality” movement, dedicated to ensuring companies provide employee access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion.
Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director at UltraViolet, a leading gender justice organization that tracks corporations’ donations to anti-abortion politics, praised Match’s decision.
“Match Group’s announcement that it will be pausing some political donations in the wake of the Supreme Court decision gutting constitutional protections for abortion rights is an important step in corporate accountability,” Thomas said.
Match isn’t the only D-FW company that has historically donated to anti-abortion politicians.
Telecommunications giant AT&T’s political action committee has also contributed to Republican candidates who are against abortion. It also donates to Democrats.
According to OpenSecrets, Republican TX Reps. Jodey Arrington, Michael Burgess, Dan Crenshaw, Kay Granger, Michael McCaul, Patrick Fallon, Tony Gonzales, August Pfluger, Chip Roy and Pete Sessions have all received donations during 2021-22 from AT&T ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Eight Democratic representatives received funds during the same time frame.
But AT&T has also promised to fund travel for women.
After being asked about the company’s policy in the aftermath of the overturn of Roe, AT&T sent a statement to The Dallas Morning News: “The health of our employees and their families is important to our company, and we provide benefits that cover the cost of travel for medical procedures that are not available within 100 miles of their home,” AT&T spokesperson Jim Greer said in the emailed statement.
When asked whether those medical procedures included abortion, Greer wrote “it covers medical procedures.”
AT&T has used contributions from its high-dollar PAC to send messages to members of Congress in other political decisions. In 2021, the company suspended contributions to Republicans who voted to object to certifying Electoral College votes.
The company is one of the biggest power players in Washington, and its PAC sent more than $2.7 million in contributions to lawmakers in the 2020 election cycle alone. That ranked it as the fourth-most-active PAC in the country, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2022, the PAC has contributed over $1.3 million to political candidates.
Other corporations that have donated to politicians who are trying to reduce abortion access but still have vowed to provide abortion travel benefits are Amazon.com Inc. and Walt Disney Co., according to Bloomberg.
In Texas, businesses that support women’s reproductive rights may be targeted by Republican lawmakers. Fourteen Republican members of the state House of Representatives have pledged to introduce bills in the coming legislative session that would keep corporations from doing business in Texas if the firms pay for out-of-state abortions, according to the Texas Tribune.
Businesses are turning to their lawyers for advice on how to navigate benefits to employees. Attorney Rogge Dunn in Dallas said corporations need to be cautious and adhere to state laws.
“The takeaway is that companies need to proceed slowly, thoughtfully and carefully before they implement this because of the chances of getting embroiled in a lawsuit,” Dunn said.