People on social media are calling for a boycott of Pepsi following a report that found the company donated to Republican lawmakers in Texas who supported the state’s abortion ban. But Pepsi disputes claims about when the donation was made.
Texas’ ban is the strictest in the nation and allows private citizens to sue people who help women get abortions after the first six weeks of pregnancy.
The report comes from the progressive media site Popular Information and claims that PepsiCo donated $15,000 to the Texas GOP on August 5, 2021.
The funds would go to the re-election campaigns of Republicans to the state legislature, such as Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, according to Popular Information.
PepsiCo responded to USA TODAY saying the donations were actually made in August 2020 and covered the costs of the political convention, long before the abortion ban was put in place. PepsiCo also pointed out that it has donated to conventions for both Democrats and Republicans. Specifically, he donated $15,000 to the Republican Party and $25,000 to the Democratic Party.
Abbot and Patrick did not immediately respond to telephone requests for comment.
A Texas doctor performs an abortion: Critics of Texas abortion law target these corporate donors and Texas-based businesses
PepsiCo isn’t by far the biggest corporate donor.
Corporate Accountability Action (CAA), another progressive site, reported that Dallas-based telecommunications company AT&T has donated more than $645,000 over the past two years to nearly 22 lawmakers who sponsored the measure. Time Warner Cable/Charter Communications donated $523,661 and NBC Universal donated $88,000 to major sponsors in Texas, CAA reported.
Despite their support for GOP lawmakers, PepsiCo has in the past supported and lobbied for progressive causes.
In 2019, PepsiCo was among companies warning Texas lawmakers against prescription bans that would put the LGBT community at risk, according to Bloomberg Law.
Michelle Shen is a Money & Tech digital reporter for USA TODAY. You can reach her @michelle_shen10 on Twitter.