Several video game studios are speaking out and taking a stand to protect their employees’ reproductive rights in the wake of the US Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade on Friday.
Lot 2 studio Bungie announced in a blog post that it has added “Travel Compensation for Unavailable Healthcare” as a benefit to employees and their families. The move would protect workers who must travel to states where abortion is still legal, if they live in a state with laws on the books that say otherwise. Thirteen states have enacted laws today that could ban abortion immediately after the decision, including Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, North and South Dakota, and Idaho.
Bungie is committed to ensuring that all of our employees and their families have safe and affordable access to essential health care needs. “As we continue to expand our digital-first workplace to more states, we will now implement a travel reimbursement program that any employee can use when they or a dependent cannot access the healthcare they need where they live. We remain undaunted in our commitment to champion reproductive choice and freedom.”
Bungie was the first video game studio to speak out about abortion rights after SCOTUS’ draft advisory on its decision to roll them back was leaked to the public last month. At the time, it said the decision “marks a blow to freedom in America and is a direct attack on human rights,” and it outlined its promises to protect those freedoms for its workers.
Meanwhile, other game studios have taken to social media to protest SCOTUS’ decision to overthrow Roe v. Wade and release unanimous statements in support of reproductive rights, including insomnia games† sucker punch† PlayStation London Studio† Ubisoft† Santa Monica Studioand Bad Dog†
— Insomniac Games (@insomniacgames) June 24, 2022
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) June 24, 2022
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) June 24, 2022
Other game companies have yet to consider the situation, including PlayStation (although several subsidiaries have responded). Last month, Sony CEO Jim Ryan encouraged neutrality on abortion by emailing employees to respect the views of others after the draft advisory was leaked, sparking outrage among employees and PlayStation fans who expected more from a company that took a stance on other issues, including Black Lives. Matter and the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia.