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Microsoft versus true healthcare

Shareholders have the opportunity to end the scandal of abortion and transition health “benefits”


The Microsoft building in Issy-les-Moulineaux, outside Paris. Associated Press/Photo by Michel Euler

Microsoft versus true healthcare
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On Dec. 7, shareholders of the Microsoft Corporation will vote on Proposition 5, which calls upon the company to assess the legal and reputational risks of offering abortion subsidies and insurance coverage for sexual transition treatments. They should vote yes.

Apart from the fact that both abortion and self-mutilation are not truly healthcare, since healthcare is designed to save life and reduce medical risks, this policy also carries with it serious legal risks. That’s according to Sharon Fast Gustafson, former general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Gustafson argues that abortion subsidies run afoul of Title VII and its subpart, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, because “employers promise a cash benefit to formerly pregnant employees who return from travel no longer pregnant due to abortion while promising no cash benefit to pregnant employees who return from travel still pregnant. This is pregnancy discrimination plain and simple.”

Transition benefits bring with them other risks, both of charges of discrimination and of liability for the harmful side effects of such a severe intervention into human physiology. Numerous legal claims are being pursued now by victims of the sexual transition industry. How long before trial lawyers go after the deep pockets of the largest companies in the world who couldn’t leap quickly enough into the trans fad? The fact that these companies seem to have a thumb on the scale in favor of trying to change gender certainly is not a good look.

According to the supporting statement from the National Legal Policy Center, the proponent of the resolution reports that the company is publicly committed to covering transition treatments but not detransition treatments. In comments registered with the SEC, Bowyer Research’s Isaac Willour argues that committing to cover transition but not detransition costs “is more than a violation of the Company’s DOL and EEOC responsibilities—although it is that too, as de-transitioned individuals meet the threshold for legally protected categories—it is a blatant disregard for the healthcare needs of Microsoft employees and an active marginalization of those on the wrong side of the medical industry.”

Supporting gender changing surgery, but not supporting the only real treatment worthy of the name “gender affirming,” that is, reaffirmation of true gender, is facially discriminatory. Given the severe public backlash against the extremes of the trans movement, the reputational risks here are significant and reputational risk translates into legal risk when a jury trial is involved.

The ideological capture of American corporations was not inevitable. Our side blissfully ignored that front in the culture war while the sexual revolutionaries used shareholder power to show up, speak up, place proposals on the ballot and agitate for their passage. Now the tide is beginning to turn. Proposals such as this, from conservative groups, begin to shift us from responding to the other side’s agenda towards setting the agenda for ourselves.

Christian investors should take the same responsibility to speak up and to vote on corporations’ annual ballots as they do on political ballots. Dec. 7 at the Microsoft annual meeting is a great place to start. Log in, vote, and ask questions here. If you don’t know how, ask your financial planner or advisor. If they don’t know how, tell them to learn fast. It’s important.

Editor's note: This column has been corrected to reflect that the measure in question is Proposition 5.


Jerry Bowyer

Jerry Bowyer is the chief economist of Vident Financial, editor of Townhall Finance, editor of the business channel of The Christian Post, host of Meeting of Minds with Jerry Bowyer podcast, president of Bowyer Research, and author of The Maker Versus the Takers: What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics. He is also resident economist with Kingdom Advisors, serves on the Editorial Board of Salem Communications, and is senior fellow in financial economics at the Center for Cultural Leadership. Jerry lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan, and the youngest three of his seven children.


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