Sega is adding its name to the list of companies publicly supporting reproductive rights and the freedom to choose. In a public statement from the publisher, Sega says it is matching employee donations to organizations like Planned Parenthood and the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation.
Following the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the people who make video games are speaking out. For the last several months, voices across the industry have continued to support keeping access to abortion safe and legal. As of Friday, Sega is now among one of the bigger bodies to add its weight to the decision. In a statement via Twitter and Facebook, the publisher confirmed it would match monetary contributions in defense of reproductive rights.
“At SEGA, we stand for equality and believe the ability to make choices about one’s body is a human right,” a Sega representative said on Twitter. “We are matching employee donations to Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation and other accredited non-profit organizations supporting reproductive rights selected by our team members.”
— SEGA (@SEGA) July 1, 2022
The usual suspects quickly clamored to Sega’s social channels. Angry commenters left the same few asinine points—including threats to “tell the Japanese branch”. As a reminder, despite the westerners fetishizing it, Japan isn’t a cisgender heterosexual male monolith. Just like everywhere else in the world, you’ll find folks who care about protecting reproductive rights. Access to abortion, and the long list of life-saving reproductive rights Roe v. Wade speaks to, aren’t US-centric fights.
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, but a draft of the document explaining the court’s opinion leaked in May. News of the decision signaled another recent escalation in legalizing more insidious violence against marginalized genders and queer identities. Among the most egregious include the heinous, transphobic orders from Texas Governor Greg Abbot. Subsequently, after months of demanding the parents of trans children be investigated for child abuse, Austin-based studio Certain Affinity took a public stand against state leadership.
Sega and Certain Affinity are joined in the fight for reproductive rights by several other household names in gaming, including Bungie. After that, other Sony studios like Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog, and Sucker Punch also published statements calling for protections for “basic human rights” after the Supreme Court announcement. For now, we can only speculate internal pushback from folks at these PlayStation-owned studios fueled the posts after the company’s CEO, Jim Ryan, issued a god-awful email about his cat’s birthday and abortion rights.
Someone’s productivity should not dictate their value. But, if you’re among those trying to argue companies shouldn’t “cater to a few people”—don’t! There are countless trans men and women, cis women, and non-binary folks out there buying, making, and talking about games. In other words, maybe video games just aren’t for you. Companies shouldn’t cater to a consumer denying human rights.