How Texas abortion ban could cripple the state’s economic future

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Upon its entry into force on September 1, Senate Bill 8 became the most restrictive abortion law in the United States, challenging the strength of Roe v. Wade and once again making Texas the focal point of a decades-long battle for reproductive rights.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton defended the law on Wednesday, saying the abortion ban does not interfere with local commerce, as women are forced to travel out of state for the procedure. But Ray Perryman, chairman of Waco-based economic research firm The Perryman Group, said the controversial legislation could limit the state’s economic outlook and negatively impact the state’s potential for future economic growth. .

“Less inclusive laws, whether they make it more difficult to vote, limit opportunities based on gender identity, restrict access to health care for needy people, unreasonably limit the flexibility of family planning, or distort history in a racial manner, pose a significant risk to the Texas economy over an extended period, ”said Perryman.

In April, Perryman’s group released a study indicating that restrictive election laws in Texas would cut local business activity by $ 14.7 billion by 2025. He says additional restrictive laws such as that SB 8 present additional risks to the state’s ability to organize large-scale national events in the future.

“Trade associations, corporate sponsors and sports authorities want to be seen as endorsing policies of this nature,” said Perryman, noting the relocation of NCAA events following the passage of the “Bill on the North Carolina toilet that targeted transgender people; and Major League Baseball’s move of the 2021 All Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in response to Georgia’s restrictive voting laws.

The Perryman Group discovered that Georgia lost $ 127.2 million in revenue and 1,619 jobs after the MLB All-Star Game moved to Denver in April of this year. Perryman estimates that North Carolina suffered a loss of $ 367.6 million and 4,677 jobs following the NCAA’s decision to relocate the Men’s Basketball Final Four from Greensboro to Indianapolis, Indiana in 2021. These are isolated events which, over time, could form the backbone of a long and expensive flight. money and human capital in Texas if the state continues to adopt similar regressive measures affecting residents.

Most high-growth, tech-driven companies don’t want to be seen as endorsing restrictive social legislation, Perryman added, given that highly skilled knowledge workers, who are scarce, are mobile and overwhelmingly prefer locations with more inclusive policies. “Because of their importance to the growth and viability of these businesses,” he said, “there is added pressure to factor social phenomena into location decisions. Reproductive rights can be particularly important. important in this context, as they directly affect the lives of many young workers and their families. “

Following the passage of SB 8, a number of companies, including Salesforce and MotoRefi, have offered a relocation allowance to Texas employees who are troubled by the new legislation. California-based public relations agency Bospar led the way, which announced its relocation program on September 9.

California-based public relations agency Bospar has offered to fund the relocation of its employees from Texas following passage of the state’s tough abortion law, Senate Bill 8. .

Bospar

“If companies see that it is not in their best interests to do something from a business point of view, it usually trumps morality,” said Curtis Sparrer, director of Bospar. “It was an important moment to show that the business community is not giving Texas a free pass to pass outrageous laws about the decisions women choose to make about their bodies.”


A native of Texan, Sparrer said his company will pay for the relocation of its six employees from Texas and support its employees in other states if similar legislation is passed in the future. He hopes other companies will take a similar stance and pressure lawmakers to reconsider their decision.

“What we are seeing is a constant drumbeat of companies saying ‘We oppose’,” Sparrer said. “I think more companies are going to make this decision very soon… I suspect this law will collapse or Texas will lose its competitive edge.”

While Perryman doesn’t expect an immediate mass exodus from Texas, he sees the long-term repercussions of bills like SB 8 slowly undermining the state’s economic engine.

“Texas has performed extremely well in recent years and has many competitive advantages, but this set of laws that restrict human rights and welfare can only limit the state’s fortunes in the future.” , said Perryman. “They will affect performance over time assuming they stay put.”




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