A day after Roe v. Wade was overturned, Tory Burch is condemning the decision as many fashion and retail execs remain silent.
The longtime activist published an emotional letter to employees on social media this afternoon — becoming one of the few top industry leaders to speak out about the ruling itself. (Dozens of companies have issued more general statements about covering travel costs for employees who need to leave their states to seek safe abortions.)
“I am outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, stripping women of the constitutional right to make safe, informed choices about their own bodies.This decision affects all American women, but disproportionately impacts women of color, young women and low-income communities. I am truly saddened for the women who will not receive the care they need or will seek unsafe alternatives in states where abortion is not accessible,” Burch, the executive chairman and chief creative officer of her eponymous company, wrote in her letter.
The designer said the company is reviewing its benefit plans to ensure there are “no obstacles” to abortion access or reproductive care for employees who must travel outside their states.
Burch — who last week held her “Embrace Ambition” summit focused on key women’s issues — also called on employees to vote and elect officials who will stand up for equality. “I urge you to register, research your candidates and embrace your power as a citizen.”
The vast majority of comments on Burch’s instagram post (one of the places where she posted the letter) were positive as of Saturday afternoon.
But it’s clear that some leaders are reluctant to speak out over fears of losing the support of customers, employees or political leaders who are happy about the Supreme Court decision. Abortion remains one of the most divisive social issues— even in an era when many CEOs have been vocal about other burning topics such as racial equality, LGBTQ+ rights and gun control.
But Burch has never been afraid to stand up for women, and she closed the letter with these words: “Empowering women is our company’s guiding principle. This decision was a giant step backwards for women, but we are undeterred and know we need to step up now more than ever. I believe in a world where women are free to make choices that are right for them — and not be penalized for those choices.”