Delta CEO Ed Bastian spoke out this week about recent controversial abortion legislation. (Delta)
Delta’s top executive on Tuesday reportedly said he believes abortion laws, like the controversial one recently signed in Georgia, are issues that should be addressed through the judicial system and not by U.S. businesses.
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Chief executive officer Ed Bastian acknowledged during an appearance at Vox Media’s Code conference that the company’s headquarters are located in the Peach State and noted the complexity of what has “become a big issue,” according to Business Insider.
“We carry 200 million people a year, we have 80,000 employees,” Bastian said. “We cannot as a company take one group and put it over another group when you've got such an emotional — some would say almost religious — view as to what the right answer is.”
And “millions” could be isolated if the company takes a side, he said, according to Business Insider.
"This is something that the courts need to settle and resolve, not corporate America,” Bastian said. “At least for us. I can't win."
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp last month signed the House Bill 481 into law. The law bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, except in the case of rape or incest. It’s slated to go into effect in January 2020.
The state has dealt with backlash since then from Hollywood celebrities and entertainment companies such as Netflix and Disney.
Georgia has largely benefited from the film and television industry by providing 30 percent tax incentives to companies. The state, dubbed "the Hollywood of the South," is the most popular filming location in the U.S. and the site to some blockbusters like “Avengers: Endgame.”
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Netflix has said it will rethink its “entire investment in Georgia” if the “heartbeat” bill goes into effect in January. Similarly, Disney CEO Bob Iger said it would be “very difficult” for the company to continue filming in the state if the law was implemented.
Fox Business’ Kathleen Joyce and Katherine Lam contributed to this report.
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