An executive at Facebook’s parent company told employees they were prohibited from talking about abortion on Workplace, an internal social media tool.

The Meta executive cited “an increased risk” that the company would be seen as a “hostile work environment,” The Verge reported Thursday.

The policy, which Meta put in place in 2019, wasn’t reported previously.

Meta employees are prohibited from discussing “opinions or debates about abortion being right or wrong, availability or rights of abortion, and political, religious, and humanitarian views on the topic,” according to the company’s internal “Respectful Communication Policy,” which was seen by The Verge.

Meta officials have told employees that they could discuss abortion at work only with a single “trusted” colleague in a private setting or in a “listening session” with up to five “like-minded” people, The Verge reported.

Some employees want Meta to do away with the policy following the leaking of a Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. They argue that the company’s ban is at odds with employees being allowed to talk “respectfully” about issues such as Black Lives Matter, immigration, and trans rights.

Meta Vice President of Human Resources Janelle Gale, speaking at an all-hands meeting with employees Thursday, said that abortion was “the most divisive and reported topic” by employees on Workplace, The Verge reported.

“Even if people are respectful, and they’re attempting to be respectful about their view on abortion, it can still leave people feeling like they’re being targeted based on their gender or religion,” Gale said, according to a recording obtained by The Verge.

“It’s the one unique topic that kind of trips that line on a protected class pretty much in every instance.”

After the Supreme Court leak, Meta Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg used Facebook to call abortion “one of our most fundamental rights” in a Facebook post.

“Every woman, no matter where she lives, must be free to choose whether and when she becomes a mother,” Sandberg wrote. “Few things are more important to women’s health and equality.”

Meta employees as a group apparently lean left. OpenSecrets.org, a research group that tracks money in politics by the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, reported the employees sent 91.68% of their federal political donations to Democrats in 2020 — $2.4 million compared to the $218,576 workers at the company sent to Republicans.

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