Companies Who Donated to Co-Sponsors of Texas Abortion Bill Revealed

Several companies that donated to the lawmakers who co-sponsored Texas' restrictive abortion law have been identified.

Senate Bill 8, a so-called "heart rate bill," prohibits all abortions in the state if medical professionals can detect a fetal heartbeat, something that can occur after just six weeks when most women do not know they are pregnant.

The legislation came into effect on September 1 after the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to deny an emergency appeal brought by abortion rights advocates to block its enforcement.

Popular Information, a newsletter that details companies that donate to politicians backing certain causes, has named a number of corporations that have given significant amounts of money to the primary co-sponsors of Senate Bill 8.

As pointed out by Judd Legum, who writes Popular Information, these include companies that have previously held "themselves out as champions of women's empowerment and equality."

The newsletter cites examples of these companies issuing statements in support of women's equality and celebrating empowerment.

AT&T has donated $301,000 to the sponsors of the abortion bill over the past few years. Popular Information points out that just days before the bill came into effect in Texas, the mobile phone network issued a statement celebrating Women's Equality Day.

Comcast/NBCUniversal is reported to have donated $58,250 to the sponsors of SB8 since 2018.

CVS Health donated $72,500. In a statement to Popular Information, a CVS Health spokesperson said: "Past political contributions are by no means a blanket endorsement of an individual's position on every issue, nor are they an indication of where we'll direct our future support."

UnitedHealth Group was also found to have donated $90,000 to the sponsors of Texas' abortion ban since 2018, with health insurer Anthem donating $87,250 in the same time period.

Other companies named by Popular Information include Charter Communications ($313,000), Farmers Insurance ($120,000) and General Motors ($72,750).

State Farm is also included in Public Information's list, with a reported donation of $58,250.

However, a spokesperson told Newsweek that State Farm does not contribute financially to any political candidates or legislators as a corporation.

"Due to campaign finance laws, individual contributions over a certain dollar amount require 'occupation and employer' information," the spokesperson said.

"As a result, aggregator sites often inaccurately report independent donations by independent contractor State Farm agents, and State Farm employees as donations made by 'State Farm'."

On August 2, women's rights organization UltraViolet compiled its own list of companies that have donated money to the sponsors of the Texas abortion law, including seven that have given more than $100,000.

According to the data, six of the seven companies donated more than 50 percent of in-state donations to the lawmakers who sponsored the bill.

UltraViolet's List of Companies That Gave Over $100,000 to Primary Sponsors of the Texas Abortion Bill

  • AT&T: $291,042
  • Charter Communications: $219,500
  • Berkshire Hathaway: $128,550
  • Exelon: $124,000
  • UnitedHealth Group: $121,000
  • Union Pacific: $109,000
  • Chevron: $105,500

In a statement to Insider, Union Pacific said it had "a history of giving to political candidates on both sides of the aisle in compliance with national and state rules.

"We consider criteria beyond those that directly impact rail operations and business metrics when evaluating contributions, and we review our giving to all candidates annually."

Chevron told Insider that it donated to "numerous elected representatives who take positions on a range of issues. We are not always aligned with all their views."

Newsweek has contacted several companies, including AT&T and Charter Communications, for comment on their donations. UnitedHealth Group declined to comment.

Update 9/8/21, 5:45 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add a comment from State Farm.

texas abortion sponsors
Pro-choice and pro-life activists demonstrate on the steps of the United States Supreme Court on June 27, 2016. Companies that donated to lawmakers who co-sponsored the Texas abortion law have been identified. Pete Marovich/Getty Images