Traditional, American Private market investors that have adopted environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) frameworks — the few so far — did this to evaluate a potential business or investment on how it approached areas such as sustainability or diversity.
But now, in the post-Roe era, as controversial conservative legislation sweeps the country, some VC investors and founders believe the social definition of ESG investing should be expanded to include pressing human rights issues, such as reproductive health care.
Last year, Amnesty International found it that none of the top VC firms adequately consider human rights in their due diligence, while an analysis in the Stanford Social Innovation Review found it that of the 2,900 VC firms worldwide, only a few dozen have publicly committed to ESG investing. That could change as private markets come under more consumer pressure to offset government deficits.
An urgent issue to consider now is the uncertainty of reproductive health care as states seek to further restrict access to abortion and contraception. Extending the definition of social investing to reproductive health makes the subject more urgent and reframes its economic and social importance.