There are calls for a boycott of Pepsi after the company was named in a report that listed the top corporate donors to politicians who played a key role in developing Texas’ controversial abortion ban.
According to newsletter Popular Information, which focuses on which companies donate to particular politicians or causes, Pepsi donated $15,000 to the Texas Republican Party after the bill banning abortions in almost all circumstances was signed into law.
The so-called “heartbeat bill” forbids abortions after six weeks.
Pepsi continued to donate to the Texas GOP after it was enacted while continuing to promote a commitment to “empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community”, Newsweek reports.
The hashtag #BoycottPepsi began to trend on Twitter in the US after the release of the report.
Among those saying they would boycott the company was writer E Jean Carroll.
She tweeted: “Need ANOTHER reason to stop drinking Pepsi? PepsiCo sent a big fat check to the GOP legislators who got the TEXAS ABORTION BILL passed.”
The company is not alone in its donation to Texas Republicans following the passage of the bill, as Melanie D’Arrigo, a Democrat running for Congress in New York noted.
“Corporations are not people and they are not our friends. CVS Health, Pepsi, AT&T, Walmart are still donors to the GOP legislators leading the Texas abortion ban,” she wrote.
Need ANOTHER reason to stop drinking Pepsi?@PepsiCo sent a big fat check to the GOP legislators who got the TEXAS ABORTION BILL passed.
— E. Jean Carroll (@ejeancarroll) January 24, 2022
“To protect our rights and our democracy, we must get corporate money out of politics,” she added.
When contacted by The Independent, a spokesperson for Pepsi had an explanation for the reported timing of the donation.
“During presidential election years, PepsiCo has typically made donations supporting both the Democratic and Republican conventions in several states. In the summer of 2020, we donated to both the Democratic and Republican parties in Texas to support those state conventions,” the spokesperson said. “The check to the Republican party was not processed until August 2021. As a result, the donation was recorded then and disclosed in a recent filing.”
They added: “No further donations have been made to either Texas state political party since 2020. Any reports to the contrary are incorrect.”