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Missouri official stresses safety over abortion access

Abortion-rights supporters take part in a protest Thursday, May 30, 2019, in St. Louis. A St. Louis judge heard an hour of arguments Thursday on Planned Parenthood's request for a temporary restraining order that would prohibit the state from allowing the license for Missouri's only abortion clinic to lapse at midnight Friday. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

NEW YORK —  Scores of technology, media and fashion executives took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times on Monday to denounce restricting access to abortion and other reproductive healthcare.

The advertisement follows a string of company executives in recent weeks who threatened to pull investments in states enacting new laws that limit abortion rights. Nine states, including Alabama, Georgia and Missouri have passed abortion laws this year that all but ban the procedure.

"Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers," reads the New York Times advertisement, signed by company officials. "It impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving."

NYT ads

Among the more than 180 signees was Jack Dorsey, a St. Louis native and the CEO of Twitter and Square. Others include designer Rebecca Minkoff, Bloomberg L.P. board member Peter Grauer, Tinder Chief Executive Officer Elie Seidman and Warby Parker founders Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa.

The companies employ a total of than 108,000 workers, according to the ad.

Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Bob Iger last month told Reuters it would be "very difficult" to keep filming in Georgia if a law banning abortion went into effect. Netflix Inc followed, saying it would "rethink" its investment in Georgia if the law goes into effect.

For now, state officials don't appear to be backing down. “We are the party of freedom and opportunity,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said at the Georgia GOP convention in Savannah. “We value and protect innocent life — even though that makes C-list celebrities squawk,” according to AJC.com.