Cannondale to finance travel for employees seeking abortion services, following US ruling
The bike brand says it will also cover 'bail expenses for any employees arrested while protesting peacefully'
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Cannondale has joined a host of companies offering paid travel for employees who need abortion services, following the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn a law which legalised the procedure in all states.
Last week, the US Supreme Court overturned the 1973 passed Row vs Wade law, meaning that abortion is now subject to regulations made by individual states.
In response, Cannondale - an American bike brand owned by Dutch conglomerate Pon Holdings - has said it will do what it can to ensure its employees "have access to quality healthcare, including reimbursement of travel costs to access an abortion."
The brand joins the likes of Warner Brothers and Disney, who have said they will cover travel expenses for employees who need to travel for an abortion.
In a statement, Cannondale also confirmed that it would "support [its] employees’ right to make their voices heard" - with measures including "paid volunteer time, time off to vote, and even bail expenses for any employees arrested while protesting peacefully."
Last week, female riders at the U.S. Pro Road Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee, took a knee during the national anthem, in protest of the ruling; plans for the pre-organised statement were shared by Alexis Ryan (L39ion of Los Angeles).
Speaking to Cycling Weekly, Ryan said: "[The ruling] was obviously a really tragic moment for women in this country... I think as athletes, we are role models to younger women, but we are also role models to the entire world, and I think it's important for us to speak our minds and make a statement with what we're doing here."
Not all riders joined in, Emily Newsom (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) told Cycling Weekly: "I think it's really important that we are able to discuss a matter that is so controversial and is so close to everybody's feelings and heart. There are so many women who are anti-abortion and many women who are pro-abortion, and if we can't sit together and talk about it without being angry at each other and without creating strife...then I think that's a very sad situation."
Cannondale said that it sought to "inspire and empower everyone, including women, to ride," and that this "mission comes with obligation, that extends to issues that affect us all, on and off the bike."
It added: "We believe in the right of women to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health," before concluding "together we ride, forward, towards a more equal and diverse world, on and off the bike."
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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