Coca-Cola shareholders want ban on selling the beverage in anti-abortion states


Last week, Coca-Cola shareholders rebuffed a resolution pushed by a pro-abortion group which was aimed at convincing the beverage company to stop selling its products in pro-life states.

Shareholders rejected the measure overwhelmingly, with 87 percent of owners of Coke stock voting against the resolution pushed by the leftist group As You Sow, LifeNews.com reported on May 1.

The resolution would have pressured Coca-Cola to oppose, and perhaps divest from, states that offer legal protection to the unborn.

Also last week, the City of San Francisco abandoned its boycott of pro-life states, saying the repercussions were detrimental to the city.

As You Sow asked Coca-Cola to issue a “Report on Risk Due to Restrictions on Reproductive Rights”. The report would include “potential risks or costs to the company caused by … state policies severely restricting reproductive rights”.

As You Sow has suggested that companies should share “any decisions regarding closure or expansion of operations affected by the restrictive laws, and any strategies such as public policy advocacy by the company, related political contributions policies … or educational strategies”.

Jerry Bowyer, editor of the business channel of The Christian Post, noted in a May 1 op-ed: “So, companies are steered towards punishing pro-life states by divestment, toward defunding pro-life politicians who would otherwise have been seen as helpful to the company’s interest, and by educating the public about the benefits of abortion and the harm caused when it is prevented”.

Shareholders of publicly traded corporations “have a right to put proposals up for a vote”, Bowyer added. “This right is not well known by conservatives. Liberals, on the other hand, seem quite familiar with this instrument for the exercise of corporate power, which is why historically proposals from the left typically outnumber those from the right 20-to-1. But things are getting better. This year that number looks to be closer to 10-to-1”.

Bowyer added: “This is not the only time we’ll see abortion on corporate proxies. In fact, it was not the only resolution on Coca-Cola’s proxy card. There was also what is called a “congruency” report, which amounts to goading companies that have said something in favor of equality to extend that to blacklisting pro-life politicians. It also lost. Cigna and Pfizer both also had congruency resolutions last week that specifically pointed to the abortion issue. They too were defeated”.

Meanwhile, National Review reported the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 7-4 to repeal its boycott, which prohibited the city government from traveling to and doing business with 30 states that passed pro-life and other conservative policies.

“It’s not achieving the goal we want to achieve”, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman said. “It is making our government less efficient”.

Initially, the boycott applied to conservative states that passed laws regarding LGBTQ issues, but San Francisco leaders expanded it in 2019 to also boycott states that passed pro-life laws.

An analysis of the boycott in February found that its results were disastrous for San Francisco. The city administrator’s office report found that the boycott was hurting the city financially and did not have any effect on persuading states to abandon their pro-life laws.

The law “has created additional administrative burden for City staff and vendors and unintended consequences for San Francisco citizens, such as limiting enrichment and developmental opportunities,” the National Review report said.

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