In the wake of Roe v. Wade recently being overturned in the United States, many employees at Skyrim developer Bethesda Game Studios are growing frustrated with what they see as their company’s hesitation to openly support employees’ access to abortions and reproductive healthcare.

This is an issue for many Starfield and Redfall game developers based out of states like Texas, which have strict anti-abortion legislation now in place.

Tensions have begun to rise as heated debates have started to take place over the company’s Slack channels, and management has failed to address employees’ specific concerns and demands about their healthcare.

Bethesda’s independence from parent company Microsoft means it does not have to follow Microsoft’s policies protecting its employees from reproductive healthcare situations.

Microsoft has dedicated itself to ensuring employees and their dependents have access to “critical health care” related to abortion. A new report claims that Bethesda is not covered by Microsoft’s policies and allegedly hasn’t provided its employees similar protections.

Some employees are putting pressure on Bethesda’s management to commit to policies like relocation support for employees in heavily impacted states. Unsurprisingly, however, some at the company support the court’s decision, adding weight to internal tensions that have at times bled into the company’s Slack.

One Bethesda employee caused much controversy in the workplace when he posted a rant against abortion that lasted eight paragraphs. “I’m dismayed over the consistent crying out for the ‘right’ to murder one’s own kin,” he wrote. “Human rights aren’t being violated in overturning Roe v. Wade, they’re being restored for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

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The message included 11 quotes from the Bible.

Although the Supreme Court’s decision was only released late last month, employees have been preparing for the decision and taking action for it for some time. Knowing the impact a decision like this could have on staffers in Texas and elsewhere, members of a women’s employee resource group at Bethesda sent a letter to ZeniMax (Bethesda’s parent company) after the Supreme Court’s opinion draft hinting that Roe v. Wade would be overturned was leaked to the public nearly two months prior.

“As reproductive rights have come under full attack in the U.S., the lack of response from ZeniMax leadership has been deafening. At the time of this writing, six calendar days have been passed since the intent to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked to the public,” the email wrote. The email also pointed out the company’s previous efforts to internally support employees during the Black Lives Matter movement and during pride month in 2021. It even reached out during the invasion of Ukraine. “As more ZeniMax employees have their rights threatened, as more of us demand to know if our employer will stand with us, as competitors come out in support of their own workers, the company’s silence remains inexcusable and contrary to the company’s stated values.”

Bethesda’s only public statement about the matter was posted to their Twitter account in late June:

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