SCOTUS fuels spike in abortion-related shareholder resolutions

SCOTUS fuels spike in abortion-related shareholder resolutions


As You Sow Report graphic 1

As You Sow, Sustainable Investments Institute and Proxy Impact

SUPREME COURT SHOWERS BRING PROXY FLOWERS — Companies are seeing a record number of shareholder resolutions aimed at reproductive health issues in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision revoking the constitutional right to abortion, according to a new analysis.

Shareholder advocacy group As You Sow, along with Sustainable Investments Institute and Proxy Impact, found 23 proxy-ballot proposals related to reproductive health, up from four last year and two in 2021.

Alphabet and Meta are facing proposals for them to report on abortion-related privacy protections, while Walmart, PayPal, CVS and American Express are being asked to account for the risks of sharing abortion-related data. McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Costco, meanwhile, are being asked to report on risks to reproductive health rights.

“The Dobbs decision exposed a number of areas of vulnerability for corporations, and investors had responded by increasing their engagement,” said Shelley Alpern, director of corporate engagement at Rhia Ventures, which advised some of the firms that put forward proposals tied to reproductive health.

Of the total reproductive health proposals filed, 11 are pending, one has gone to vote and roughly half have been withdrawn, according to the report. Trillium Asset Management withdrew one to require TJX Companies report on risks associated with state policies restricting abortion after the company said it had adopted travel benefits for accessing reproductive care and engaged its insurance providers about contraceptives, for example.

The report also found an increase in climate-related proposals — 122, up from 109 at the same time last year. Nearly a quarter of the more than 500 shareholder proposals made as of mid-February are related to climate change. Seventeen percent are tied to political influence and 15 percent are related to human rights. Anti-ESG proposals comprise 8 percent of the total.

As You Sow graphic 2

As You Sow, Sustainable Investments Institute and Proxy Impact

The number of total shareholder proposals filed is on pace to match or top the 627 proposals that were ultimately filed in 2022, according to the report. It also said 454 of the proposals were expected to go to a vote, but it cautioned that number will likely fall.

The climate change proposals are still largely focused on greenhouse gas emissions cuts and the requisite reporting — including ones from As You Sow itself, which has filed dozens of proposals that would have companies do things like report on net-zero emissions goals and their use of carbon offsets.

Meanwhile, the anti-ESG movement that has spurred legislation in a number of Republican-led states is expanding its presence on proxy ballots.

“Early indications are that anti-ESG resolutions, which expanded last year, will increase still further despite the cool reception they receive,” the report said. The groups said most of the proposals “question the wisdom of racial and ethnic diversity on boards and suggest that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs and anti-racism initiatives discriminate against conservative white people.”

As You Sow graphic 3

As You Sow, Sustainable Investments Institute and Proxy Impact

Last year, support for anti-ESG proposals was less than 4 percent on average. Support for pro-ESG proposals last year averaged around 30 percent. Average support for overall shareholder proposals, meanwhile, was somewhere between 20 percent and 30 percent.

GO INSIDE THE 2023 MILKEN INSTITUTE GLOBAL CONFERENCE: POLITICO is proud to partner with the Milken Institute to produce a special edition “Global Insider” newsletter featuring exclusive coverage, insider nuggets and unparalleled insights from the 2023 Global Conference, which will convene leaders in health, finance, politics, philanthropy and entertainment from April 30-May 3. This year’s theme, Advancing a Thriving World, will challenge and inspire attendees to lean into building an optimistic coalition capable of tackling the issues and inequities we collectively face. Don’t miss a thing — subscribe today for a front row seat.


GAME ON — Welcome to the Long Game, where we tell you about the latest on efforts to shape our future. We deliver data-driven storytelling, compelling interviews with industry and political leaders, and news Tuesday through Friday to keep you in the loop on sustainability.

Team Sustainability is editor Greg Mott, deputy editor Debra Kahn and reporters Jordan Wolman and Allison Prang. Reach us all at [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].

Want more? Don’t we all. Sign up for the Long Game. Four days a week and still free!


Big-city population losses slowed last year as increased immigration blunted the impact of pandemic flight, the Wall Street Journal reports.

– How did the tiny Pacific island nation of Vanuatu manage to sway the United Nations General Assembly on the obligation of countries to address climate change? The Washington Post explains.

– The Post also takes a look at what the new electric vehicle subsidies will mean for consumers.

LISTEN TO POLITICO’S ENERGY PODCAST: Check out our daily five-minute brief on the latest energy and environmental politics and policy news. Don’t miss out on the must-know stories, candid insights, and analysis from POLITICO’s energy team. Listen today.

( Information from was used in this report. Also if you have any problem of this article or if you need to remove this articles, please email here and we will delete this immediately. [email protected] )

Share to...