In May of this year Texas passed legislation that made abortions illegal any time after six weeks of gestation. It also basically turns women who get abortions in to vigilantes, and hangs a hefty bounty over their head. Consequently, many American women feel this legislature is an attack against their bodies, and that it will serve no actual ‘greater purpose’ of stopping the use of abortion.
On the contrary, it will likely cause a great increase in unsafe abortion methodology in Texas, as it has all over our country in the past. And, according to the World Health Organization, 13% of maternal deaths are caused by unsafe abortions.
But the lives of American mothers are not a risk anti-abortionists are willing to take.
Considering all this, organizations are responding in various ways with hopes of inspiring change. Social agencies are striving to educate voters. Citizens are marching and protesting. A few corporations have even joined the battle. For example, Lyft has promised to cover all legal fees for their drivers that may face penalty for taxiing clients to undergo abortions. Bumble has donated to relief funds for employees who may be effected by the new law. Salesforce has promised to help relocate any Texan employees in danger because of the law.
But one corporate effort that caught our eye was the empowering response from dating app OKCupid. The company’s Chief Marketing Officer, Melissa Hobley, revealed the details recently.
Beyond donating money to an employee relief fun, the platform designed what is being seen as a virtual, profile ‘bumper stickers.’ They read, “Pro-Choice” in bright pink font, and are placed directly below each user’s name, age, and location.
The dating site chose to create this option as a way to speak up against Senate Bill 8, and also because they saw “an 18% increase in the use of the term ‘pro-choice’ on their users’ bios” within the last year (according to the New York Times). In fact, in a study conducted by Bumble, it was found political views are in the top ten of fifty factors daters generally are most concerned with when looking for a match (NY Times).
OKCupid saw their daters’ growing need for political and social alignment on their platform, and they answered the call. But the new ‘button’ wasn’t just created to highlight the user’s stance on abortion. It also serves as a pledge: OKCupid will be donating $1 to Planned Parenthood for every profile that utilizes the badge.
Thus, as great it is that the aforementioned corporations are taking the time to care for their employees, it seems OKCupid’s actions have trickled down support to everyone. And we are thrilled to see this corporation that benefits from humanity, intimacy, and love, is also promoting just that in their values and actions.
But to be honest, as a divorced and newly-dating mama, I’m personally thrilled to see this feature being utilized for more than just political reasons.
I’m not placing the blame for the entire degradation of my marriage on politics, but our misalignment on most movements and/or events was absolutely a contributing factor. I was only twenty-two when I met my husband, and hardly knew where I stood on anything politically (let alone much about myself). And we fought about it all.
Now that I’m much more established in my views and know my stances (*ahem* like being pro-choice), I love the idea of being able to circumvent the ‘uncomfortable’ conversations and know my political compatibility with a potential partner from the get-go. Especially on a topic so relative to romantic partnership. So, thank you, OKCupid, for making efforts to promote healthy abortion care and the dating scene, because both need some serious revamping.
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