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Bill Gates and George Soros Take Sides in the Abortion Debate

Very few CEOs have yet to react to the Supreme Court's landmark decision.
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Bill Gates and George Soros are furious and sad. 

The two billionaires have chosen to come out of their reserve and express their anger and their sadness on the social network Twitter, a platform where they are often the subject of numerous conspiracy theories.

Gates and Soros are especially furious with the Supreme Court's decision on Friday to overturn the 1973 decision on Roe v. Wade enshrining the right to abortion. 

In a historic reversal, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 confirmed the long-awaited suspicion that they were going to weigh in and overturn Roe v Wade.

Roe v. Wade has been the landmark case for abortion rights since 1973, when the court ruled on a 7-2 vote that women had the constitutional right to an abortion.

'Sad Day'

"This is a sad day," the co-founder of software giant Microsoft  (MSFT)  wrote on Twitter. "Reversing Roe v. Wade is an unjust and unacceptable setback. And it puts women’s lives at risk, especially the most disadvantaged."

Gates and his ex-wife Melinda French Gates have always been strong supporters of family planning and contraception through their foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

This foundation has also committed to donating $280 million per year to such causes until 2030.

"We’re committing US$280 million per year from 2021 to 2030 to develop new and improved contraceptive technologies, support family planning programs that reflect the preferences of local communities, and enable women and girls to be in control of their own contraceptive care — where, when, and how they want it," the foundation said on its website.

"Contraceptives are one of the most powerful tools we have. It puts the power in the hands of young girls and women to plan their families, and quite honestly to plan their futures," French Gates said.

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Microsoft is among companies that offer to cover the costs of its employees seeking to have abortions in a state other than the one in which they reside. Tesla  (TSLA) , Amazon  (AMZN)  and Apple  (AAPL)   are also some of the other companies that committed to covering travel expenses related to abortions for their employees if it was not available nearby.

"The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn #RoeVWade ends federal protections for abortion, diminishes human rights, and greatly threatens reproductive care," financier and philanthropist George Soros wrote on Twitter. 

"We have invested in reproductive rights organizations that are fighting back at this moment." Soros added, referring to his network of philanthropies, the Open Society Foundations.

Soros is a major donor to the Democratic party.

Musk Is Silent

Bill Gates is the fourth richest man in the world with an estimated fortune of $116 billion as of June 26, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Soros is credited with a net wealth of $8.5 billion.

The two billionaires do not say if the Supreme Court's historic decision will encourage them to give a little more money to organizations campaigning for the abortion rights.

Since the Supreme Court's decision, very few CEOs have spoken on this subject which divides the country. Even Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, who has become highly politicized over the past few months has remained silent for the time being.

"I believe CEOs have a responsibility to take care of their employees— no matter what," said Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com. "Salesforce moves employees when they feel threatened or experience discrimination. To our Ohana — always have your back. Always. ❤️"

Note that Benioff did not criticize the decision even if he supports the employees who would be affected.

Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, Utah, Oklahoma and South Dakota had either trigger bans or pre-Roe bans on abortion that went into effect after the ruling on Friday. Other states are expected to follow without the law at the national level, such as Montana, Tennessee and Virginia.