In response to plans in the US Supreme Court to overturn legislature that protects women’s access to reproductive health care, Texas-based studio Certain Affinity announced that it will help staff living in states with anti-abortion (and anti-trans laws) by covering their relocation costs.
“It is appalling that states, including the CA headquarter’s home state of Texas, are wading into what I consider personal health and privacy matters,” wrote Certain Affinity CEO Max Hoberman in an open letter published on Twitter.
“As the recent draft US Supreme Court opinion potentially overturning Roe vs. Wade has shown, the rights of women to make critical decisions about their health and wellbeing — including access to vital birth control medication and abortion — and protections for the privacy of those decisions, are also under attack. Measures are already teed up in several states that will similarly punish family, friends, doctors, and other supporters who come to their aid.”
The state of Texas has recently passed a law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The law also includes a “bounty hunter” enforcement system that would allow residents to sue anyone helping a person get an abortion after that point. The law is strict to the point that even just driving them to the place where they can get the procedure would go for at least $10,000. It would effectively criminalize anyone who is remotely helpful to a person looking to get an abortion.
Hoberman continues, “This is all incredibly concerning on a personal level, and also as a business owner and leader; naked politicization of private health matters is hurting our business in tangible ways, including our ability to recruit staff.” To demonstrate the company’s values, Hoberman states that he will be making the following commitment:
“If the state or province you live in restricts access to what a majority of medical experts consider essential care, and this makes remaining there untenable for you and your family, we will cover the pre-approved, documented, reasonable out-of-pocket costs of your relocation to another, safer state or province that we operate in,” Hoberman said.
Certain Affinity was founded in 2006 by Bungie veterans led by Max Hoberman. The studio provides extensive development support to the Halo franchise beginning all the way back with Halo 2. In partnership with Microsoft and Bungie, the company has developed post-launch content and multiplayer assets across multiple titles, including the latest, Halo Infinite.
Certain Affinity has offices in Austin, Texas and Toronto, Ontario but has also migrated certain work aspects to allow remote work from a certain number of US states and Canadian provinces. Certain studios like Bungie, Double Fine and Hinterland Games have also stepped up to express their support for abortion rights.