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“No” Vote on Woke Coke?

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At Concerned Women for America (CWA), as an extension of our battle against corporate wokeism like Toss Target and Woke Walmart, we pay close attention to the different means by which corporate anti-life initiatives are born, including shareholder ballots. We have found that YOUR voice truly makes a difference.

Once a year and for a period of time, usually in the spring, shareholders of public companies (which includes companies like Target and Walmart and Coca-Cola) vote on company priorities. In April, Coca-Cola underwent its round of shareholder voting. One ballot asked for a report on “risks from state policies restricting reproductive rights.” Known pro-abortion manager As You Sow filed the ballot on behalf of the Brian Patrick Kariger Revocable Trust.

Requests for items like “reports” or “political spending misalignment” and “risk mitigation”—while seemingly harmless—are full frontal attacks in the world of shareholder ballots. Ballots like these essentially amount to a vote on the merits of abortion among shareholders.

The pro-abortion risk-report ballot included a perverse claim about the need for abortion in service of the “workforce.” It referenced polling from pro-abortion LeanIn.Org in which the majority of respondents opposed the overturn of Roe v. Wade. There is no reference to polling finding that “an overwhelming majority of people — 90% [in 2023] — believe that our laws can protect both the mother and her unborn child.”

The ballot also decried that “In the 2020-22 election cycles, the Proponent estimates that Coca-Cola has given more than $1.8 million to politicians and political organizations seeking to limit access to reproductive health care.” In other words, the shareholder wanted to pressure Coca-Cola against contributing to pro-life politicians and for contributing to pro-abortion politicians.

Coca-Cola published vote recommendations and said shareholders should vote “against” this ballot.

This is not to say that Coca-Cola’s employment policies are the gold standard for the sanctity of life. The company opposed the ballot in part by touting its unrestricted travel coverage for any medical procedure. Coca-Cola opposed the ballot not because it supported pro-life state laws but because it already offers travel coverage for employees to obtain an abortion for any reason.

However, Coca-Cola’s recommendation is a signal that Coca-Cola sees more risk in a public ballot vote in favor of abortion than against it. That calculation follows YOUR advocacy for companies like Coca-Cola to stop taking one-sided, hypocritical actions in the name of helping society. What this tells us is that if you keep the pressure on, you will see results that stop the tide of corporate wokeism.