Match Group, the company behind dating apps Tinder and Hinge, confirmed to Axios on Thursday that it will suspend donations to state attorneys general, after being accused of hypocrisy for donating money to anti-abortion politicians while publicly supporting reproductive rights.
Why is this important: Activists are taking the post-Dobbs fight to the business sector, suing corporations for making pro-abortion statements, but also for donating money to anti-abortion politicians.
Rollback: After the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, activist groups were successful in getting companies to withdraw donations — for a time — from lawmakers who voted to void the presidential election. They hope to achieve a similar feat in the field of abortion.
- Yelp, one of the companies that has been outspoken on abortion rights, previously said it would stop donating to RAGA – the Republican Attorneys General Association – in light of the riot of the Capitol.
Details: Match CEO Bernard Kim said he only learned of his company’s $100,000 donation to RAGA after reading the media, according to the New York Times who broke the news first.
- RAGA is now a central player in the post-Dobbs push to pass the abortion ban at the state level. It was Mississippi AG Lynn Fitch, a RAGA member, who argued for her state’s restrictive abortion law in the Dobbs case, overturning the federal abortion law.
- Match said he would also stop donations to Democratic attorneys general.
What they say : Women’s rights group UltraViolet calls the practice of donating to causes that directly oppose corporate statements on reproductive rights “reprowashing” — and, along with other progressives, is pushing to prevent companies to do so.
- “Companies need to both provide the best benefits for their workers and make sure they don’t fund politicians who force workers to travel for basic health care,” said Sonja Spoo, director . reproductive rights campaigns by women activist group UltraViolet, says Axios.
Zoom out: Companies are walking a knife’s edge in today’s political climate – trying to please employees, customers and legislators, all of whom are often strongly at odds with one another.
- Businesses panicked after Disney clashed with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the state’s so-called Don’t Say Gay bill earlier this year.
- Despite Disney’s political donations and lobbying in the state, its public opposition to the bill led to the Florida legislature the abolition of the special tax status of the company.
What to watch: Will other companies come forward? So far, Match is alone.
- “Match demonstrates what corporate integrity looks like,” said Shelley Alpern, director of corporate engagement at Rhia Ventures. “We hope others will be emboldened by his example.”