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Mark Zuckerberg banned Meta employees from talking about abortion

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Facebook’s parent company is ordering its employees to stop talking about abortion.

An executive at Meta Platforms told employees on Thursday that they should not allowed to debate the contentious issue during office hours because of “an increased risk” that the corporate could be perceived as a “hostile work environment,” The Verge reported.

The policy, which was initially put in place three years ago but was only reported recently, bans employees from offering “opinions or debates about abortion being right or improper, availability or rights of abortion, and political, religious, and humanitarian views on the subject,” in line with The Verge.

The tech news site cited language from an internal note titled “Respectful Communication Policy,” which was first rolled out by the corporate in 2019.

But Meta employees reportedly want their bosses to dispose of the policy in light of a recent Supreme Court draft opinion that overturns Roe v. Wade.

Janelle Gale, Meta’s vp of human resources, told employees on Thursday that abortion was “probably the most divisive and reported topic” on Workplace, which is Facebook’s internal communications and messaging platform, in line with The Verge.

Abortion rights activists have been spurred to motion after a Supreme Court draft opinion indicating that the justices appear poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.AP

Gale reportedly said that “even when individuals are respectful, they usually’re attempting to be respectful about their view on abortion, it could possibly still leave people feeling like they’re being targeted based on their gender or religion.”

“It’s the one unique topic that type of trips that line on a protected class just about in every instance.”

The Verge reported that it had obtained recordings of Gale’s comments to employees.

Meta employees have been told they are not to discuss abortion on the company's internal communications platforms.Meta employees have been told they should not to debate abortion on the corporate’s internal communications platforms.VIA REUTERS

One other Meta executive, Naomi Gleit, wrote on Workplace: “At work, there are a lot of sensitivities around this topic, which makes it difficult to debate on Workplace.”

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Gleit wrote that employees were allowed to debate abortion at work “with a trusted colleague in a non-public setting (e.g. live, chat, etc.)” and in a “listening session with a small group of as much as 5 like-minded people to point out solidarity.” 

Meta has not officially taken a position on the Supreme Court draft opinion, though Mark Zuckerberg’s No. 2, Sheryl Sandberg, wrote on her Facebook page that abortion was “one in all our most fundamental rights.”

“Every woman, regardless of where she lives, have to be free to decide on whether and when she becomes a mother,” she wrote.

“Few things are more necessary to women’s health and equality.”

Gleit told employees that the corporate “will proceed to supply our employees access to reproductive healthcare within the US no matter where they live.”

A growing list of Fortune 500 firms, including Starbucks, Tesla, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Salesforce, have said they’ll reimburse employees for travel expenses incurred when searching for abortions or gender-affirming surgeries out of state.

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