Ve-e-ery Interesting!

Younger readers of this blog–assuming there are some–probably don’t remember Laugh-In, a comedy skit show by Rowan and Martin that was considered edgy for its time. One of the regulars on that show was a comic named Arte Johnson, who would pop up after a segment (often in a pith helmet) and intone (in what I recall as a faux German accent) “Veeery interesting!”

A recent article from Bloomberg elicited a similar reaction from me. It reported on an unanticipated outcome of the dangerous Texas law establishing bounties on people who help women obtain abortions. It was–in Johnson’s memorable phrase–“veeery interesting.”

The article reported on the response of the corporate community to the Texas’s law –an  approach that has triggered passage of similar and increasingly restrictive abortion laws in other states. Named the “heartbeat bill” (a medically-inaccurate characterization), it bans abortions after six-weeks and deputizes private citizens to bring civil lawsuits against anyone they suspect or know helped a woman obtain one. The measure has prompted passage of a similar bill in Idaho, and Florida’s retrograde legislature has approved a ban on abortions after 15 weeks– with no exceptions for rape or incest. Other Red states are following.

 As the Bloomberg article reminded readers, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on a Mississippi case that its newly conservative majority will likely use to significantly weaken if not overrule Roe v. Wade. When that occurs–and it would be shocking if it didn’t, given the current makeup of the Court–  26 states are certain or likely to largely outlaw abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

In a surprising reaction, corporate America is responding to the threat.

The roar of anti-abortion laws sweeping through U.S. state houses is echoing loudly in human resources offices.

Companies that have offered to help cover travel costs for employees who have to go out of state for abortions are trying to figure out how to go about it. Large corporations like Citigroup Inc., Apple Inc., Bumble Inc., Levi Strauss & Co. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. are now offering such benefits for reproductive-care services not available in an employee’s home state.

The report notes that most health insurance plans cover the costs of abortions, but in the  Red states with abortion bans, companies need to create a mechanism to ensure  that their employees have access to safe and medically appropriate terminations. They are exploring how to protect their workers’ privacy and especially how to fend off legal actions that might be brought by states looking to block such workarounds.

Laura Spiekerman, co-founder of New York-based startup Alloy, told Bloomberg News that reimbursing workers for abortion-related travel is the “low bar” of what companies should do. “I’m surprised and disappointed more companies aren’t doing it,” she said.

The company — which has a handful of employees in states with restrictive abortion laws like Florida, Arizona and Mississippi — in January said that it would pay up to $1,500 toward travel expenses for employees or their partners needing to travel out of state for abortions. Alloy also said it would cover 50% of legal costs up to $5,000 if any employee or their partner had to deal with legal issues due to anti-abortion laws.

The numbers are significant: some 40 million women of reproductive age live in states that are hostile to abortion rights. Those states passed more than 100 anti-abortion laws in 2021, “the highest number in the nearly half a century since Roe v. Wade, according to Guttmacher.”

The article highlights some creative responses.  

Dallas-based Match Group Inc. is partnering with a third party for a similar benefit to Alloy’s. Any Match employee in Texas can call a toll-free number dedicated to the program to reach Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, which will arrange travel and lodging paid for by a fund Match Chief Executive Officer Shar Dubey created last year to cover such costs for staffers and dependents, according to a company spokesperson. Eligibility would be determined through a third-party employment verification vendor.

Meanwhile, the hard-right turn of several states is becoming a negative factor in business location decisions. When Texas  passed its abortion law in September, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said the company would help staffers relocate from the state. Solugen Inc., a Texas chemicals company, said the state’s social policies were making it difficult to attract talent so it was planning to open another facility elsewhere.

State-level abortion restrictions cost those economies $105 billion annually by cutting labor force participation and earnings, and increasing turnover and time off from work, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. And women who want an abortion but don’t get one are four times more likely to live below the federal poverty level.

I guess when you are a political party dominated by religious crusaders, economic repercussions are irrelevant…


  1. Not religious crusaders, hypocrit + Christian = hypochristians. A person or group who runs their mouth about Christian ways, but hardly ever practice them. Those are the types steering the boat right now, ✅

  2. Arte didn’t wear a pith helmet. It was a German military combat gear helmet…which is fitting. The NAZIs on the right are creating an oppressive state for women. Who will they come after next? If rational people who actually care about women’s rights don’t resist this onslaught on women’s rights – even though it is a relatively small population that is affected – who/what will these bastards come after next? Can concentration camps be far behind? Oh. Wait. We’ve already done that part.

  3. These new laws are the 21st Century reenactment of cave man days when they hit us with a club then drug us by the hair back to their man-caves. Today, after clubbing us with their laws they leave us on our own to bear the results of controlling our birth control laws. Abortions; not mentioned in the Bible or the Constitution, are a primary control by old men over women to keep us barefoot, pregnant and in their kitchens…and their bedrooms. Their obsessions with sex and money fill the media daily; “it’s a mans world” and “boys will be boys” still rules. In the movie, “On The Basis Of Sex”, when the judge reminded a young Ruth Bader Ginsberg that the word “women” is not included in the Constitution, Ruth reminded him, “Neither is the word freedom.” What is that old adage; “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

    RBG stayed with us till her dying breath to fight for rights for all and men are still abusing those rights by denying ours.

  4. It’s a shame, though, that wealthy businesses have to be the ones to protect women’s reproductive options. Employees who work for them (with exceptions, I’m sure) are likely to afford travel and accommodations needed to exercise such rights. Who gets left out? The poor and under-employed, of course. That, again, is why we need our public safety net, which red states have nearly stripped to shreds. Maybe they’ll wake up when they realize that their cheap labor force isn’t available to work because they’re home raising too many babies.

  5. someday,the ones who passed laws,and or voted to support a one line candidate, will find they themselves will be somehow,in the same bag as the rest who fought against some form of denial of their rights.

  6. What the Lord taketh the Lord can taketh away.

    About 80 years ago a federal law was enacted during WWII that allowed employers to treat costs associated with insurance and health-care benefits provided to their employees as deductible expenses against revenue for the purpose of calculating income taxes. This was done as a compromise with the transportation industry and the UAW and other powerful unions that were all rising up against a tide of inflation caused by the war effort but were unable to award wage increases because of price controls put in place. This served as the starting point of the hopelessly expensive and inefficient employer-insurance-provider model of health care we have today. That tax exemption essentially serves the same purpose as the Value Added Tax used in many other advanced economies except that, in America, it only benefits people who happen to work for a company that offers health insurance benefits. Not everyone gets it. Since then we’ve cobbled another leg to the rickety stool – Obamacare.

    So now, Fortune 500 execs have come up with the idea to use the same tax benefit to pay employees to travel out of state to obtain abortions. I personally have no problem with this but I can think of 50 Republican US Senators and a couple hundred House Members who will. It may just be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back to motivate a future Fascist Cult-(formerly Movement Conservative) majority Congress and White House to pass a law to phase out the tax deduction that employers have enjoyed for 80 years as a way to punish them for using a law to, in their view, murder babies.

    But if they do I will cheer them on for the simple reason that I believe it will massively backfire. This is because it will spur employers to eliminate health care benefits and pay employees at least some portion of the cost of them to employees in the form of wages so they can purchase insurance on the their own, bringing an end to a health-care industrial complex that never should have existed in the first place.

    What happens after that is anyone’s guess. But with one leg of the complex eliminated (employers, unions and associations) there would be nothing to push back on the voracious appetites of the health insurance and health provider industry for increased revenue and profits. In other words, it’s not likely sustainable. And if not then it could lend a lot of political momentum behind a move towards a single-payer system, sometimes referred to as Medicare for All.

    Bring it on.

  7. Veeeery interesting, but shtupid?

    The fact remains, every individual of age has the right to be a Free Moral Agent! Free Moral Agents are absolutely positively Free to make their own decisions, weather or not anyone else believes they’re good decisions or not.

    A Free Moral Agent simply means a person has the right to a Free Will. One person’s decision might not sit well with someone else, but that someone else does not have the right to impose their own Right of Free Will on another.

    1st Corinthians 10:29, reads; “I do not mean your own conscience, but that of the other person. For why should my freedom be judged by another person’s conscience.”
    There’s an interesting document called; “statement of principles of conservative Judaism” that absolutely questions the consequences of Free Will!

    A person’s own conscience dictates the actions that they take, that’s what Free Will is!

    In Deuteronomy 30:15,19 God absolutely endorsed the Israelites use of Free Will. It reads; “see, I do put before you today life and good, and death and bad……. And you must choose life in order that you may keep alive, you and your offspring.”

    I would say that’s a pretty major gift, a decision over life and death is allowed! No one has the right to force anyone else’s decision on anything.

    Those religious leaders that “deny” individuals who might not have the same belief system, their “Own” Free Moral Agency/Free Will and freedom to choose, are completely antithetical to scriptural teaching on that subject.

    If a religious individual is going to claim the moral high ground, they should be Free of Blood Guilt concerning Sanctity of Life.

    Don’t endorse the slaughter of millions in war, don’t endorse the slaughter of those who are of different beliefs, “don’t endorse the slaughter of those who believe the same as you,” don’t endorse the slaughter of those who are imprisoned.

    Most governments tend to be secular or secularist, which conveys, a division between church and state! We do not live in a theocracy on this earth.

    Although, It is a Person’s Right to be Theocratic in their daily conduct. But that does not give any Theocratic individual the right of Free Will over another’s right of Free Will.

    So, if one’s conscience does not allow them to do something, then that person has the free will not to go against their own personal conscience.

    As it states in Romans 2:14, 15 which reads; “for whenever people of the Nations that do not have law do so by nature the things of the law, these people, although not having law, our law to themselves. They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them and, between their own thoughts, they are being accused or even excused.”

    So, why would anyone who is a Theocratic person, deny someone else what their conscience dictates and allows them to do. I e give them permission.

    Those who claim to be Theocratic need to have a complete viewpoint of the teachings in scripture and what they mean. Does the hypocrisy of certain religious groups in politics cause distress on others? Absolutely!

    There is NO theocratic right to do that. It’s not a theocratic person’s right to judge another person. All persons on this planet have the right to Free Will. No one has any business or any right to condemn the expression of it. That’s why, secular societies have laws that are supposed to treat everyone the same. Supposedly we all have access to equal rights and equal justice. Romans the 13th chapter explains it very well.

    So, if a person claims to be theocratic, they absolutely need to be Theocratic in all aspects, because they will be judged on that themselves! In other words they need to stay in their own lane or suffer the consequences. Worship as you see fit, live your life as you see fit, let your conscience be your guide, just don’t force that on anyone else, “in any way shape or form!”

    Our constitution demands a separation of church and state because of these very reasons. The Constitution is a secular document. It describes a Democratic society not a Theocracy. And, Contains guardrails to prevent any group dominating another. Or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

    Secular laws punish the murderer, they punish the rapist, they punish those with nefarious moral standards, they punish the defrauder!

    Any person who tends to be Theocratic in their beliefs needs to respect the Secular laws and the right of everyone concerning Free Will.

  8. Patrick,

    I like your scenario, but the insurance industry will fight it to the last dollar. What will those silk suits do after we have universal health care? Uh, oh. They may have to take their business degrees and actually work for a living instead of just exploiting others for fine clothes and big cars.

    Unless the people rise up VERY soon, our republic will be destroyed by the right-wing morons like McConnell, Cruz, Hawley, Greene, Boebert, et. al. They have no moral compass. Their needle points exclusively to money/power. Until those creatures are out of government, the gravy train for health care insurers will just roll along.

  9. The coming reckoning will be corporations/business vs. oligarchs/republicans. The GOP is increasingly NOT the party of business but the party of static wealth. Note how Putin’s fate may soon be determined by Russian businessmen, who, in the end, may move their country back toward globalism and trade, destroying the crony state to do it.

    Anyone in business knows that you are only as good as your employees, particularly your high value thinkers, and those employees will migrate away from governments that follow the old master/slave and lord/peasant models.

    Best of luck to Indiana.

  10. Vern,
    Yep, what you said, lol! I know my comment was a bit on the long side, but, you have to refute what a person believes by what a person claims to Believe! That way they really can’t argue about it! At least, IMHO! Nothing better than to watch a hypocrite squirm by their own miscarriage of beliefs.

  11. We need to be framing this discussion as one of religious freedom. Just because your religion says this fetus is a person, why should your religion take precedence over mine, which doesn’t?

  12. Our Indiana state republican dominated legislature members are frothing at the mouth while waiting to reconvene as soon as the supreme court outlaws abortion just so they can follow suit.

    Indiana has failed to entice high wage corporations to move here even though the legislature keeps sweetening the pot with lower taxes. The brain drain over the past 40 years is still taking place, so the only corporations we can entice are the ones with low wages and our governor recently mentioned his goal of returning our state back to a manufacturing hub.

    The largest cities in the state have had some luck at enticing high wage jobs, but the quantity of those job isn’t near enough to match the need so college grads will continue to leave for better jobs. Outlawing abortion will most likely increase the outmigration and those of us that stay will be stuck with even higher tax bills.

    Republicans make it very clear that the only thing they care about is protecting and maintaining their jobs and power.

  13. What’s funny is the money backing these jokers in the Red States were the funders of the 1/6 Insurrection, and the money feeding Ginni Thomas and her Justice hubby. Charles Koch is also refusing to leave Russia despite the sanctions.

    Why do the Democrats refuse to take out the weed by its root? Cowards or phonies?

    This voting by the feet will continue until they grow a set of brass balls in Washington. But, then again, if they had brass balls, they wouldn’t be so easily bought by the oligarchy in the first place.

    It’s just a puppet show…

  14. *** To All Indiana citizens on this blog:

    Hammond’s Mayor Thomas McDermotte is running to take Todd Young’s Senate seat.

    Please check out his website at to learn about his background and learn his views on issues that are important to all of us.

    Last night I attended a Meet and Greet for McDermotte – he is intelligent, energetic and very impressive. He has a law degree from Notre Dame and his wife is a Lake County Circuit judge. As a U.S. Senator he would not be intimidated by nor back down from corporation loving republicans.

    *** If any of you are interested in creating a Meet and Greet with him he will be glad to travel to wherever it is. You will not be disappointed.

  15. We shall see…here in NC when the “bathroom bill” passed, the state lost many jobs (and more importantly) NCAA championships. Only when we got a DEM governor who pushed back did things settle down a bit (at least on that issue). Of course, that was in the ancient days of 2018…

    More likely…this will slowly drive us to multiple “somethings” – the Red States of America/The Blue States of America? Already red sections of somewhat purple states are petitioning to secede to a red state…

  16. To me, there is a much larger question. If the concept of laws enforced by bounty hunters stands, doesn’t that turn our legal system on its head?

    I’m not a lawyer, which is good for all of you because I’d be a decidedly lousy one, but surely there is a discussion going on within the diaspora of US lawyers about what the concept would do to our whole legal structure.


  17. Pete,

    X actly…..I have already seen GOP campaign literature railing against “Red Flag” laws because they will enable your neighbors to turn you in and get your guns confiscated…..

  18. John to Vern,
    refute,watchem squirm.. nothin like a good ol’face to face conversation with the other side eh?

  19. You know it brother Jack!

    I know that I repeated myself a few times in that comment, LOL! But I was trying to make an important point. If you want to be able to refute someone, refute them on their own platform! I mentioned a few threads back, I was outside Planned Parenthood when speaking to the lead minister out there leading a protest. What I found, all of his so-called sheep, Parroted exactly what the preacher was saying. they had no knowledge of scripture, they just listened and trusted the preacher. The preacher was saying a lot of stuff he claimed was in scripture but absolutely was not. So, eventually the preacher said they had to get back to praying and told his followers not to engage with me anymore. Although, I imagine they asked him a lot of questions because they haven’t been back there since. I like to watch them squirm. I don’t think I’m very astute about many things, but I love to read and I usually retain what I read. And as Vernon knows, I like to read, and I’ve read five of his books to date. If you have a diverse reading schedule, there’s a modicum of Truth concerning most things you read, some it’s a very small small small modicum, but, if one is diligent and diverse in their reading habits, you can use all of that information to Vector towards the truth.

    By the way Jack, your comment was right on the money !!!!! You have a lot of insight.

  20. The remedy to the “issue,” if it is one > Elect those who will codify Roe.

  21. JoAnn – a small note on RBG

    I never could discover what time of day RBG died, but Jewish tradition, created mostly by MEN, states that if she died before sundown, it means that although that was her ordained last year, god felt it essential that she last every possible minute to help humanity, that she was that important. Of course, if she died after sundown, on the first day of the New Year, it means that she was a Saint.

    Patrick – I like your notion, and you have an excellent description on the origin of our current crazy health care system, but I suspect that first, Congress would give the corporations an extra tax break for giving up the deduction (ignoring the fact that the corporations would be saving money) and second that the saving would be used for big bonuses for the top execs and some extra dividends for shareholders.
    Of course, Vernon is correct – the insurance industry would spend millions to block it (saving billions for themselves)

    Peggy – Just perfect!

    Gerald – Right on!

  22. Peggy Hannon makes an excellent point that my wife and I have discussed for years. The suppression of abortion is freely stated by proponents to be religiously based— usually in a fundamentalist Christian rubric. I believe suppression of abortion in that framework represents unconstitutional religious discrimination. How powerful that argument is has yet to be tested.

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