Why the C.E.O. Behind Match.com and Tinder Took a Stand on the Texas Abortion Law and Now He’s Packing His Cases
When Match.com CEO Sean Perry found out about Texas’ new abortion law in mid-August, he made a point to reach out to the company’s lawyers immediately. Later, he got in touch with Austin attorney Todd Vreeland to help him navigate the law’s challenges.
In September, the company announced that the site is making the choice to pull out of the state of Texas, in part to avoid what it called a “widespread and grave miscarriage of justice” for the dozens of couples who came before Texas legislators in search of a quick and easy way to terminate a pregnancy. But as the weeklong battle dragged on, one of Match’s top executives was in the thick of the action in Austin. And he was on the ground, doing everything he could to help the company’s team fight back against the law.
The law, which went into effect September 1, 2011, gave Texas officials the power to ban late-term abortions in the state. It didn’t come easily, though. Texas passed the law by only a narrow margin in the Legislature, but when the governor signed it on the morning of September 21, the decision was immediately taken as a mandate that he’d never forget. And he didn’t.
“This was going to be a huge issue,” Perry says. “It was a pretty important issue. And it was going to be a really big decision for him.”
The decision wasn’t just about the law, either. It was ultimately about the business, too. Perry knows the law would have given a real leg up to the state in its fight against online porn, but now that the law is gone, the company could have done more to win the fight against abortion. “The bottom line was, if you want to be a major player in the state of Texas, you have to be a major player