CEO Blog

In the Pursuit of Liberty

America is debating Roe v. Wade, and a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion.

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness are three examples of unalienable rights given to all humans and those which governments are created to protect.  

Liberty is at the intersection of life and happiness. Liberty is the state of being free within a society from oppressive restrictions imposed by the government on our way of life, behavior or political views.

These American inspirations continue to shine bright on the sunlit uplands.

We each pursue Liberty through different lenses, and these lenses represent our freedom of choice. As individuals, we express our freedom through different lenses: care, fairness, humanity, loyalty, sanctity, authority and more. These are the lenses of Liberty, and let me draw a picture:

The Lenses of Liberty
The Lenses of Liberty

I am not going to argue the left or right positions, nor argue the law. But I will argue for the center—Liberty—and defend the center as a human, as an American and as a CEO.

Women have the right to choose (abortion, adoption, raising their child), the right to privacy, the right to have control over their bodies and control of their health—and that trumps any government or religion. Making abortion illegal will disproportionally affect the poor and under-served communities and could create generational poverty. Personally, I hope abortion is rare, safe, accessible and legal.  

During my battle with Leukemia, I found my biological family for the first time when I was looking for a bone marrow donor, and I learned many things. My biological mother gave me up for adoption because she was afraid her husband was going to beat and abuse me. I was handed to a Catholic orphanage, where I was later adopted. I was spared by choice and chosen by love. And the rest, well, we are still writing that journey—a journey that could have been very different should my biological mother have been denied her Liberty in choosing what she thought was best for me.

Liberty and choice are to be protected. 

Today, it is a woman’s right to choose, tomorrow it’s the right to vote, whom we can love, whom we can marry, the freedom of religion or its abolishment, and where would it end?

Let us have Life and Happiness at the intersection of Liberty, and embrace its lenses. Let this light of Liberty continue to brighten the sunlit uplands.

It takes more than declarations and words to protect this light. So today, OpenText is acting.

OpenText has decided to protect employee benefits and rights, regardless of which US State they live in. Those benefits include:

  • Abortion Coverage
  • Parental and Adoption Coverage
  • Infertility Treatment and Coverage 
  • Gender Reassignment Treatment
  • PTSD Coverage
  • Mental Health Coverage

If a US State passes laws that restrict these rights or benefits, OpenText will ensure an employee’s health insurance is supported in another US State, that the benefit is covered as an “in network expense”, and cover a stipend of up to $4,000 USD, so an employee can travel with family or a loved one to receive the benefit that is their right, as part of their insurance coverage. This is effective immediately.

I respect the “lens” and individualism, and the wide perspectives on the challenges and issues we each face every day. We should celebrate our lives and our happiness, unique to ourselves and our castles, but a government should not impede our Liberty.  

Inscribed on the Southeast Portico of the Jefferson Memorial:

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as a civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” 

Today we act to ensure every OpenText US employee will have access to their benefits, regardless of personal belief or state law.  

That is Liberty.

Mark Barrenechea

Mark J. Barrenechea is OpenText's Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer. A prominent thought leader, he has extensive experience in information technology and his vision is to enable the digital world to help transform organizations.

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