Citing ‘woke culture,’ Chemours director resigns over abortion benefits for employees

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A board director of Chemours Co. resigned after the chemical products and solutions company’s decision to provide new employee benefits that include coverage for abortions.

Bradley Bell notified Chemours

of his departure last week, and the company disclosed the departure at that time, citing “personal reasons.” In an updated filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, Chemours offered more information, including a letter from Bell, who is also chairman of a Florida-based nonprofit organization called Life Choice Crisis Pregnancy Center.

In the letter to Chemours Chief Executive Mark Newman and board Chair Dawn Farrell dated Dec. 21, Bell said he disagreed with the company’s decision to provide medical benefits for employees and their dependents related to abortions as well as transgender procedures, plus benefits for those who need to travel more than 100 miles to receive those services. The changes are scheduled to become effective in 2023, according to the letter, in which Bell said he finds the benefits “morally and ethically wrong.”

“I find I cannot reconcile my participation on the Chemours board with my beliefs and commitments to other organizations promoting the opposing viewpoint,” Bell wrote.

See also: Companies offering to help employees access abortions could face hurdles

In providing such employee benefits, such as for travel to states that allow abortions, Chemours will join many other companies that have pledged to do the same, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation. Many announced their intentions to do so earlier this year, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, leaving the legality of abortions up to individual states.

“Chemours management mentioned that this ‘benefit’ was something that employees had indicated as being important to them,” Bell, previously an executive at companies such as Whirlpool Corp.

and Rohm & Haas Co., wrote. “Is that truly the case, or is the company simply wanting to make a statement in our increasingly ‘woke’ culture?”

In the company’s filing with the SEC, Chief Financial Officer Sameer Ralhan said “the company is grateful for Mr. Bell’s leadership and dedicated service as well as the contributions he has made to the company.”

A spokeswoman for Chemours, whose products and solutions are used in everything from refrigeration and air conditioning to transportation and semiconductor and consumer electronics, said Tuesday that “the company acknowledges Mr. Bell’s personal beliefs and respects his decision to resign.”

“Chemours’ ambition to be a Great Place to Work for all begins with our values.  Every day we focus on holistic safety which prioritizes the physical, emotional, and psychological safety of every person at Chemours, and our employee benefits reflect this approach,” Cassie Olszewski said in an emailed response to MarketWatch.

See: Companies covering abortion travel costs for employees now include Target, Yahoo and P&G

The resignation of Bell, who said he has been on the company’s board since it was spun off from DuPont de Nemours Inc.

in 2015, is effective Jan. 2.

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