The United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the historic decision guaranteeing a constitutional right to abortion. The controversial move has already prompted a response from high profile and independent developers, including Bungie and several Sony studios, as well as an industry group.
Bungie and Sony Studios Release Statements
Bungie first signaled support for Roe v. Wade in May, when news reports reported an anonymous leak of a draft notice. The studio has now reconfirmed that commitment with a travel reimbursement plan for employees who must travel for reproductive health care. It also provided links to resources to support reproductive rights. Several Hollywood studios have announced similar projects.
The social media accounts of several Sony studios have all posted 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 follows a backlash from inside and outside the company against the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan urges employees to “respect differences of opinion” concerning the right to abortion.
Activision, Microsoft, Ubisoft and more speak up
Microsoft released a statement to GameSpot reaffirming previous commitments it had made to the Washington Post in May.
“Microsoft will continue to do all we can under the law to help our employees and their enrolled dependents access essential health care – which already includes services like abortion and gender affirmation care. – regardless of where they live in the U.S. This support has been extended to include assistance with travel costs for these legal medical services and others where access to care is limited in availability in the geographical region of origin of an employee.
Activision also issued a statement to GameSpot pledging to help employees with travel.
“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 with limited access to medical care, including reproductive health, treatment for gender affirmation, transplant care, and any other medical care covered by our plans that is not available in a covered country in the person’s condition, or within 100 miles of where they live.”
EA released a statement on its websitepromising expanded travel health benefits and encouraging employees to talk to their managers about mental health benefits.
“As EA’s leadership team, we want to reiterate our unwavering support for you, our employees. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade regarding state abortion. We know this issue is important, generating a range of emotions for you and your loved ones, whether you are based in the United States or overseas.
“Your health and well-being are our top priority. We are working closely with our US healthcare provider, Cigna, and will soon be offering expanded travel health benefits for eligible US employees and their dependents. Our goal is to provide the support and services that enable you and your eligible dependents to obtain the care necessary to be the best and most authentic version of yourself at work and in life. ‘other areas of your life.
Ubisoft, Devolver Digital, and several independent studios like Fire Hose Games and Heart Machine have also released statements through their own social media channels. More and more studios are releasing statements regularly as the day progresses, and you can find their social media statements below. For some studios that haven’t outlined the benefits, it’s unclear whether they’ll offer additional help such as travel assistance.
Many other studios have not released statements. Some may be cautious about wading into politics. EA would have told his employees that he would not take a stand last month, leading to a planned employee walkout. These plans were canceled after EA made a statement in support for transgender people and women’s rights. GameSpot has reached out to several publishers and developers seeking statements on this, and will update as we hear more. Take-Two declined to comment.
Statement from the International Association of Game Developers
In addition to these individual developer statements, the International Game Developers Association released a statement:
“The International Game Developers Association supports and empowers game developers around the world to achieve fulfilling and sustainable careers. We believe that bodily autonomy and choosing one’s own reproductive and health issues are relevant to achieving this mission. One must control one’s own health important to successfully manage their career and life.
“As a global organization, we understand that not all individuals know or have access to the freedoms and liberties relating to bodily autonomy, and we oppose efforts to weaken existing freedoms. We are deeply concerned about the increase in government interventions that undermine and limit reproductive choice and access to We applaud and show our solidarity with the games industry and community leaders who are taking action to support all those 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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