The Brian Mudd Show

The Brian Mudd Show

There are two sides to stories and one side to facts. That's Brian's mantra and what drives him to get beyond the headlines.Full Bio


Q&A of the Day – Companies Are Pushing Abortion Travel 

Today’s entry: Brian, I read an article citing a Disney employee who said the company didn’t learn from the fallout with Florida over parent’s rights law. Now Disney is sending around proabortion material to employees encouraging abortions including travel expenses being covered if necessary. Isn’t it ironic that a company built around entertaining children is looking to eliminate them?  

Bottom Line: The story I believe you’re referencing is the recent New York Post article entitled: Disney employee rips company over vow to pay abortion travel costs. The story cites the accounts of a Disney employee in Orlando, Jose Castillo, who is currently running for Congress in Florida’s 9th district. Quoting Castillo from the story... Disney knew full well that this memo would be leaked and make national news. They sent it anyway because Disney wants to make a political statement and attempt, once more, to influence our country’s political process. Obviously, Disney was far from alone in corporate America with this policy. A myriad of household names either directly went public or chose to send out material to this effect which was likewise shared publicly. As was noted by the Post however, times have recently started to change. They noted several American brands which had recently gone public on socially liberal positions, which many of us would consider to be woke, but stayed quiet on this one. Brands highlighted included McDonald’s, Pepsi, Coke, GM, Tyson and Marriott. And there’s a point to be made about them that I’ll come back to in a moment. To the broader point about the irony of Disney being one of the most publicly willing to go to extraordinary lengths to aid in employees receiving abortions, including full paid travel and medical expenses for abortions in the location of one’s choice...  

No doubt there’s irony for a company which has a stated target audience of “4-12-year-old boys and girls”, that they’re willing to assist in the elimination of them five to thirteen years out. But what I think is being missed in the case of Disney and other big brands who’ve taken this stance is what’s really behind this. Money. There are two calculations which have been made but haven’t been broadly discussed. Employee recruitment and benefit costs. It’s no secret many large companies have struggled with employee recruitment. There’s a calculation by many that taking specific social stances like this, which aren’t part of specific marketing efforts by the company, aid in employee retention and recruitment. The evidence behind this is where abortion is most supported. By those under the age of 30. According to the Pew Research Center 74% of Americans under 30 think abortion should be legal in almost all instances. Contrast that with 71% of Americans overall who think abortion should be limited to 15 weeks and 50% who support a ban at 6 weeks. Next up the perceived benefit of not having employees who are raising families... 

If Disney and related companies are successful in attracting and retaining employees who are solidly proabortion, they’re far less likely to be the family raising type. No time or less time lost to maternity and paternity leave. No need to cover children on insurance plans for the next 20+ years. This issue is commonly framed through the perspective of the social preferences of the executives at these companies. Well, there’s nothing that prevents the executives at these companies, including Disney, from personally speaking out on this or other issues. Note, that Disney’s CEO, hasn’t chosen to personally speak out. Nor have many top executives across companies which have made similar decisions. What’s being missed is that there’s potentially huge ROI across a company as large as Disney in that regard. Consider... 

The average monthly cost of a health insurance plan in 2022: 

  • Individual: $456 
  • Family: $1,152 

On average companies have picked up 73% of the insurance cost for their employees this year. That means the monthly cost for employers looks like this:  

  • Individual: $333 
  • Family: $841 

That’s $508 in monthly savings achieved this year alone for attracting and retaining employees without families. The cost of travel expenses and abortion related costs represents immediate cost savings for these companies. In today’s dollars, the 20-year cost savings per employee is about $122,000 on benefit costs alone. The calculation is that enough employees will be animated by this to lead to ROI for companies like Disney and that consumers won’t stop patronizing them as a result of these decisions. That takes us back to the companies who’d recently taken stances on social issues but didn’t this time. I’ve talked about the impact of consumers voting with their wallet. Companies like McDonald’s, Pepsi, Coke, GM, Tyson and Marriott have seen the impact of people opting for other brands. It's easy to do in those spaces. Disney and many of the tech companies don’t fear consumer backlash. The way to send a message if you want to, is to vote with your wallet. As long as Disney continues to see record attendance at its theme parks and solid returns on Disney+, rest assured it’ll be more of the same.  

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Disney Logo On Shop Window

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