They say that HR and politics don’t mix. That might be true.

Before I took my hiatus, a friend offered unsolicited feedback. The Presidential elections are heating up in America. He told me that my pro-choice views might cause companies in the HR technology industry to think twice before working with me.

I was advised of the following.

  1. “Politics makes the HR audience uncomfortable. Drop it.”
  2. “Your pro-choice values are divisive, at best, and offensive to about half of your target market.”
  3. “Abortion has nothing to do with HR.”

He was pretty clear. It’s okay to make fun of Donald Trump without pushing too hard, but if I want to work as an advisor, I should think like a savvy marketer and portray myself differently.

“Things are going well for you, Laurie. Your name is everywhere. I’d stick to cats.”

Yeah, man. That’s a lot right there. So much rage, which is why a summer break from my industry was a good thing.

Now that I’m back, I guess I don’t like my career that much because I’m still tweeting about how I support abortion on demand and without apology.

Very simply, I trust women.

I trust women to run companies.
I trust women to run families.
I trust women with their bodies at all stages of pregnancy.

You either trust someone, or you don’t.

You may not agree with me, but — and I say this with as much sincerity as I can muster — I don’t care. I know abortion makes some people uncomfortable. It might make you uncomfortable as a reader, and I can see how you might believe that a blog or Twitter account that focuses on HR doesn’t really need to discuss abortion rights and reproductive freedom in America.

But if you don’t trust a woman to make educated decisions about her body, how can you trust her to make tough decisions under complex circumstances in your company? If you don’t trust her to think logically during intensely emotional times, how can she lead your company? And if she doesn’t have a shot at leading your company, how can you say that you believe in equal opportunity?

More importantly, if I wanted to be bossed around by people with dissenting opinions, I’d still have a traditional job in human resources. And while I might be boxing myself out of some assignments by expressing my beliefs, I’m okay with that. I gave up a good career in HR (well, debatable) to be the boss of my own fate.

I also know that I work with plenty of people who hold opposing viewpoints on everything from abortion to taxes who are reasonable and thoughtful human beings. So I’m not too worried.

And, now that I’m back from hiatus, I’m even less inclined to accept unsolicited advice. You can’t tell me anything, dear colleagues, especially when it comes to a woman’s right to choose. Most opinions don’t change on this topic, so don’t even try.


  1. The unsolicited feedback is infuriating to me. When we know that women in the workplace don’t often get multiple chances to move up AND that having a child will, in most cases, set women back at work… safe and legal abortions becomes an HR issue. This nonsense about politics and HR not mixing is one reason I am no longer in HR.

  2. Word.

    And on a very practical level, all the debate about health insurance in the US makes all aspects of health (including abortion), at least somewhat related to HR!

    I’ve always had a tough time shutting myself up about politics, so it’s nice to see other people who aren’t afraid to let the streams cross, so to speak. =)

  3. Thanks for this post! It’s very raw and real. I love that you stand up for something you believe in without enforcing your beliefs on others. Additionally, the way you contextualize abortion as trust in women is spot on. If politicians trust people with guns and trust companies to do their best with employees, the environment, etc., why can’t they trust women to do what’s best for themselves?

  4. Awesome post! Watching the Republican debates has made me feel like we are living in the dark ages related to so many things – especially women.

  5. Blah blah blah… I happen to be a strong supporter of women’s choices, and I don’t disagree that you can talk about whatever you want – your blog, your life, your decisions. But I will ask [rhetorically], does everyone have to share their opinion on things that don’t necessarily have a strong tie to each other?

    In this day of media/information/opinion overload, it’s exhausting to seek out information on X topic, and weed through the commentary and opinions on Y and Z. Again, I fully support your desire to talk about anything you want, and I’d be pissed to have someone tell me I shouldn’t… but at the same time, is it so wrong to stay on topic? You poke fun at us… but we’re busy HR professionals, yo! I want to hear your quips on the profession and the people dynamic, that’s why HR professionals seek out HR blogs.

    I’m getting tired of seeking out news sources that don’t just share the news… and in tandem, I think there’s something to be said that it’s not bad or passé to stick with HR.

    Love you, Laurie! Just needed to say it!

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