Progressive Insurance Funds Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz, Avoids Questions at Shareholders Meeting

National   Steven Ertelt   May 8, 2020   |   3:39PM    Washington, DC

Progressive Insurance has been a long-time corporate funder of the Planned Parenthood abortion business, appearing on lists of corporate sponsors for years. At a shareholders’ meeting today, the company’s CEO avoided questions from a pro-life organization worried that it is expanding its abortion support further.

As LifeNews.com has reported, Progressive Insurance has been on boycott lists of companies that support Planned Parenthood as early as 2016 and as late as earlier this year. But abortion activists are working to get the nation’s largest corporations more firmly in support of abortion and pro-abortion groups, and the organization As You Sow has been lobbying aggressively to get more companies to sign up for additional abortion advocacy.

The Free Enterprise Project, a conservative group, called out the Progressive Corporation today for its collaboration with As You Sow and questioned its abortion advocacy, but the response was less than forthcoming.

At today’s annual meeting of Progressive shareholders, Justin Danhof, General Counsel and FEP Director at the National Center for Public Policy Research, asked Progressive CEO Tricia Griffith:

For this annual meeting, As You Sow filed a shareholder resolution seeking the company’s support for anti-life abortion policies. As You Sow subsequently withdrew its proposal noting it had reached an agreement with the company. As the Wall Street Journal has reported most proposals are withdrawn after the company accedes to some of the shareholders demands.

Abortion is one of the most divisive issues in America. Why did you choose to engage in such an acrimonious culture battle, and what concessions did you make to As You Sow to get them to pull their resolution?

In response, Griffith largely avoided the question and instead appeared to read a canned response that largely focused on its employee health care programs.

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She said, in part:

Our goal is to have our employees across the United States reflect the diverse consumers and markets we serve and to offer those employees a culture, workplace and compensation benefits package that reflects their importance and value to our enterprise… Our current employee benefit policies, in our view, support employees in their role as parents and provide meaningful access to coverage for sexual and reproductive health services under insurance health plans provided by our organization, regardless of an employee’s geographic base or position.

She went on to claim, “we will continue to have discussions with As You Sow but there have not been any concessions made.”

Danhoff told LifeNews he is very disappointed by the response.

“How vile and offensive that Griffith would talk so much about Progressive’s health care policies and support for employees and their families. And did she really invoke the company’s support for its employees as parents? Griffith’s abhorrent response may be the most tone-deaf statement I have ever received from a corporate executive. As You Sow is advocating for the destruction of human life – exactly the opposite of parenthood,” said Danhof. “How does that square up with Progressive’s support for employees and their families? All Progressive customers, employees and shareholders should be outraged by the company’s behavior.”

In a Breitbart opinion piece published earlier this year, Danhof called out As You Sow’s anti-life crusade, highlighting the fact that so much of corporate America already strongly supports the abortion industrial complex. With so many companies supporting groups such as Planned Parenthood and opposing pro-life legislation, Danhof wrote:

Why do so many American companies support the extermination of millions of potential future customers? It’s a question that the media really needs to start asking corporate executives… how is it good for businesses to kill off swaths of future consumers? If your company is directly involved in the abortion industrial complex, an argument could be made that you need to kill more babies to increase profits. But the companies that fund Planned Parenthood and oppose pro-life legislation don’t fit that bill.

Today’s Progressive meeting marks the 14th time FEP has participated in a shareholder meeting in 2020. As the leading voice for conservative-minded investors, it annually files more than 90 percent of all right-of-center shareholder resolutions. Dozens of liberal organizations, however, annually file more than 95 percent of all policy-oriented shareholder resolutions and continue to exert undue influence over corporate America.

Danhof’s full statement, as prepared for delivery is available here. Audio of the question and Griffith’s non-responsive answer is here.

ACTION ALERT: Contact Progressive here with your concerns.