These are being adopted in direct response to the policies of other businesses promising to pay for travel so their employees can have abortions, which are prohibited in the state since the Human Life Protection Act went into effect last week.
Rex’s policy provides up to $7,500 to female employees who become pregnant and choose to place their children for adoption.
“We want expectant mothers in our company to feel supported, particularly if they find themselves in what’s been called a ‘crisis pregnancy.’ We believe the goal should be to remove the crisis, not the pregnancy,” Rex founder and CEO Peter Rex told The Texan in an email.
Rex is personally and passionately pro-life.
After the Dobbs decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled there is no constitutional right to abortion, Buffer Insurance founder Sean Turner was talking to his wife at their kitchen table about how they could help young families. Three-fourths of his Buffer team are in their child-bearing years.
“We believe children are a blessing, and we wanted to help remove obstacles that might keep them from growing their family. One of our core values is to be there for the ones counting on you,” Turner told The Texan.
So they implemented a company policy to help cover the costs of birth, like the health insurance deductible, as well as providing maternal and paternal leave. Similar benefits are available to those who want to pursue adoption.
Turner said it has been well-received both nationally and internationally. He’s put together a resource with specific guidance that maximizes the benefits for employees while minimizing the cost to employers. He sends the guide to companies who inquire about how to implement such a policy.
“It is time for employers to positively affect culture,” Turner said. “Our intent was to activate our community, but we reached far beyond. It is gratifying to see other employees reaping the benefits.”
“We’ve had some bad comments,” Turner said, “but we have had a much more positive response.” He credits the policy for more business that has required him to hire two new employees.
While some argue that the policy is too cumbersome or expensive to implement, Rex and Turner disagree.
“There’s also a strong corporate case to be made against abortion,” Rex explained. “We hear arguments in favor of abortion coming down to productivity. The assumption is that helping employees end their pregnancies will make them happier and healthier and therefore more engaged at work.”
But Rex thinks this view is short-sighted. “Even if abortion somehow improves a current employee’s life, it also inherently ends another life of promise — that of the unborn child. That means companies are literally limiting the future supply of workers and innovators.”
Rex noted the proven connection between abortion and mental health problems. He cited a 2018 study, in which both pro-life and pro-abortion researchers agreed that “abortion is consistently associated with elevated rates of mental illness” and “the abortion experience directly contributes to mental health problems for at least some women.”
In fact, a study from the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis found female employees with children tend to be more productive.
Rex believes this kind of data “should spur companies to do more to help employees who are struggling with pregnancy.”
Turner agrees. He acknowledges that it can be more expensive to offer the benefits to families that Buffer provides, but it is worth it.
“We believe these benefits will allow employees to live happier lives and benefit long-term.”
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Kim Roberts is a regional reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.