Roe v. Wade’s overturn sent a huge shockwave through the US, and while the country is slowly recovering, the venture community is already springing into action. Unwilling to attract workers to a state that does not support reproductive rights, entrepreneurs are reassessing where to start their businesses, and investors are considering adding health care to environmental, social and governance criteria to encourage innovation in the space.
And as the midterm elections approach, the stakes will only rise for people advocating for reproductive access, equality for the LGBTQ+ community, and in some cases overall equality. It is imperative to look at the role that venture plays. Billions are deployed throughout the year and economic prowess is one of the few ways a country gets attention.
So, we decided to poll eight investors about the fallout of Roe about the impact of the Dobbs decision on the entire venture community and what they think about activism through investing.
Hesse Jones, a partner at MATR Ventures, says the right to abortion access, for example, strikes at the heart of human rights, privacy and poverty. As a result, it will affect how she conducts due diligence on companies in the future.
“It’s clear that apps used to help women manage their menstrual cycles can be armed at the state level with warrants to locate those seeking abortions,” she told Technology Flow. “Due diligence is required to look beyond the point of the founders’ ‘intentions’ and to the current customers using the technology.”
Like many investors we spoke to, McKeever Conwell, founder of Rarebreed Ventures, said his initial reaction to Roe’s reversal was “absolute disgust.” He worried it would set a precedent for other cases that could be easily dismissed.
“It’s a very, very dangerous thing, because now we have a group of lifetime appointees who have the ability to basically overturn or set a precedent that won’t be voted on by the people,” Conwell said.
However, he also notes that these political decisions have little to do with the whole mantra of venture investing: “Our job is to make money for people, and a lot of the people we’re making money with are people who don’t. Pay attention to these rights. This is the reality of the situation. “
Read the full survey here to learn how these VCs are thinking about investing in reproductive technology, what problems they’re looking for, and the best way to pitch them.