Following leaks last month, the US Supreme Court has gone through with its plans to overturn Roe v. Wade. The effect of this was felt immediately, with red states banning abortion overnight, and even making it a criminal offence to seek or offer the procedure. In practice, this will force millions to carry unwanted pregnancies, put families into poverty, and risk the lives of those who suffer from medical emergencies mid-pregnancy.
Across the gaming industry, dozens of developers and publishers have responded to the news. Some, such as Microsoft, Sony, and Bungie, have quickly announced plans to help their employees seek abortions, regardless of what state they live in. Others are simply expressing their solidarity, showing their support for bodily autonomy. However, some still choose to remain silent, potentially leaving their workers to face this crisis alone.
Bungie was among the first to react to the news, making its stance immediately clear. "Bungie is committed to ensuring that every one of our employees and their families have safe and affordable access to essential healthcare needs", the statement opens. "We will now be implementing a travel reimbursement program for any employee to use when they or a dependent cannot get access to the healthcare they need where they live.
"We remain undeterred in our commitment to stand up for reproductive choice and liberty."
Hours later, Xbox echoed this sentiment. "At Xbox, we remain committed to our employees to ensure equal access to healthcare", the message reads. "Our US health plans cover lawful medical services like abortion and gender-affirming care, and we recently extended our travel benefits to include travel expense support assistance for covered medical services."
While Sony hasn't issued its own statement at the time of writing, it has commented on the matter through PlayStation's various subsidiaries. The media giant was also quick to confirm to a journalist that it would also be covering travel costs for workers who seek an abortion.
Team Meat, developer of Super Meat Boy, also commented, simply stating: "The Supreme Court can go fuck itself". The team followed up with, "This isn’t about 'life' at all, people with uteruses are going to die getting unsafe, illegal procedures."
Fellow indie developer Certain Affinity also shared that it would be helping its workers relocate if abortion bans in their area make living there "untenable".
Other studios that have made it clear that they support abortion rights include Niantic, Ubisoft, EA, Respawn, Devolver Digital, Bethesda, Innersloth, and iam8bit. Among the biggest studios to remain silent are Nintendo, Sega, Gearbox, and Activision Blizzard. The latter of which is hardly surprising, given the fact that CEO Bobby Kotick recently donated thousands to an anti-abortion Republican.
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