In a huge setback to human rights, the Supreme Court of the United States of America overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established constitutional right to an abortion. This has made the US, one of the few dozen countries to have severe restrictions on the termination of pregnancy.
The apex court of the country announced its decision on Friday night, leaving it up to each state to decide whether to allow or prohibit abortions. At least 11 US states currently forbid or severely restrict abortions. According to a report by NPR, legislation that will enable state authorities to quickly outlaw or restrict access to the practice are already in place in about 12 other states.
The decision has created an uproar in the country as well as globally. In an effort to extend support to its employees, several companies in the US have assured aid for safe abortion procedure to its female workforce, even if they have to travel outside the state for it. Let us look at some of these companies.
After the draught judgement overturning Roe was initially published, Microsoft expanded its financial support for “critical healthcare,” including abortions and gender-affirming care, to include reimbursement for travel costs for such services.
According to an Apple spokesperson, the company’s current benefits programme permits employees to travel outside of their home state for medical care if it is not accessible there.
According to a spokesperson, the tech giant plans to provide travel expense reimbursement “to the extent permissible by law” for staff members travelling out of state for medical treatment and reproductive services. The Meta representative issued a statement that read, “We are now evaluating how to do so considering the legal issues involved.”
The second-largest private company in the US informed its staff that it would cover travel costs up to $4,000 per year for non-life-threatening medical procedures, including elective abortions.
If employees or their dependents require an abortion or gender-affirming treatment that is not offered where they live, American Express said it will pay for their travel and other associated costs.
Women, family members, and partners are covered by Yelp’s current healthcare plan for US employees when they travel outside of states with strong abortion laws, including Texas and Oklahoma, which forbid abortions after six weeks.
“This ruling puts women’s health in jeopardy, denies them their human rights, and threatens to dismantle the progress we’ve made toward gender equality in the workplaces since Roe,” Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder of Yelp, said in a statement. “Business leaders must step up to support the health and safety of their employees by speaking out against the wave of abortion bans that will be triggered as a result of this decision, and call on Congress to codify Roe into law.”
According to a corporate spokesman, Disney employees who are unable to obtain medical treatment in one place would be provided with inexpensive coverage to receive the same care in a different location. Family planning and pregnancy-related choices are covered under the benefit.
The benefits of reproductive health, such as abortion and travel costs to get healthcare, are already covered by Uber’s US insurance plans. According to an Uber representative, the rideshare company will also compensate any drivers who are prosecuted under state law for using the app to arrange transportation to a clinic.
A Netflix spokesperson said that the streaming company provides travel reimbursement coverage for US full-time employees and their dependents who must travel for medical procedures such as abortions and gender-affirming care. The corporation offers a $10,000 lifetime payment each employee (or each of their dependents) for each year of service.
Female-focused dating app Bumble announced on Friday that it would support its staff members’ access to “the healthcare treatments they need,” including abortion care. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America will receive donations from Bumble, according to a business representative.
“Abortion is healthcare, and healthcare is a human right. We are deeply troubled by the Supreme Court decision,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
In order to give its Texas employees and their dependents access to abortion care, dating app business Match Group partnered with Planned Parenthood Los Angeles in October. According to a Match spokesperson, the firm is currently thinking about extending that coverage to all of its US employees, including remote workers in states with trigger laws that may soon outlaw abortions. According to the spokesperson, match healthcare plans assist in paying for employees’ housing and travel expenses when they must travel for medical treatment.
Box.com has said that if an employee needs reproductive treatments, the company will pay for their travel and medical costs.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, Afiya Center, and ARC-Southeast, which offers direct help to women and communities in need of care, are recipients of funds from the denim manufacturer, according to a statement from The Levi Strauss Foundation. The business previously stated that employees might receive reimbursement for travel costs for services not offered in their home states, such as abortion, under its benefits plan. The corporation stated that reimbursement is also available to part-time employees and other individuals not covered by the benefits programme.
All workers of Comcast are currently eligible for a healthcare travel benefit that pays up to $4,000 per trip, up to three visits annually, and a maximum coverage cap of $10,000 per year. According to the business, abortion care is covered, albeit the amount paid out varies depending on the type of medical procedure.
Warner Bros Discovery
According to a company spokesperson, Warner Brothers Discovery updated its healthcare insurance choices to include costs for covered employees’ and their dependents’ travel to obtain abortions and other reproductive care.
The media company announced on Friday that it would cover employees’ hotel and travel costs for those who require abortion, infertility, or gender-affirming services but cannot find them locally. In an internal message, CEO Roger Lynch described the Supreme Court ruling as a “shattering blow to reproductive rights” and asserted that the company’s journalism and content are the most effective means of retaliation.
JPMorgan stated that abortion care has long been covered by its health insurance. According to corporate spokesperson Joseph Evangelisti, abortion will also be covered by the company’s health care travel benefit beginning in July. This benefit pays for procedures that can only be obtained far from home.
According to a statement made by Nike, the sportswear firm stated in cases where healthcare services are not accessible nearby, it pays for travel and lodging costs.
“No matter where our teammates are on their family planning journey — from contraception and abortion coverage, to pregnancy and family-building support through fertility, surrogacy and adoption benefits — we are here to support their decisions,” the statement reads.
According to a public letter to employees written by Sara Kelly, Starbucks acting executive vice president of partner resources, the coffee corporation is offering employees registered in its healthcare plan a medical travel benefit to get an abortion.
“We all need to process this in our own way, and as you do, here is what I want you to know: no matter where you live, or what you believe, we will always ensure you have access to quality healthcare,” Kelly said in the letter.
Dick’s Sporting Goods
According to a statement from the company, Dick’s will reimburse workers’ travel costs up to $4,000 if they need to get to the closest region where care is legally available due to living in a state that prohibits access to abortions. Any employee, spouse, or dependant covered by its medical plan, as well as one support person, will receive the benefit.
According to a Kroger representative, the grocery store’s healthcare plan provides travel benefits of up to $4,000 to make it easier for people to seek reproductive healthcare services, such as fertility treatments and abortions.
According to a statement from Alaska Airlines, the airline has always reimbursed passengers for travel expenses for “certain medical procedures and treatments if they are not available where you live.”
“Today’s Supreme Court decision does not change that,” it said.
With effect starting on July 1, Goldman Sachs has expanded its healthcare travel reimbursement rules to cover all medical operations, treatments, and evaluations, including abortion services, in locations where a provider is not close to where its workers live.
In a statement, Zillow stated that a variety of reproductive health procedures, including abortions, are covered under its health plans. The business said that as of June 1, their health plan had been amended to include a $7,500 reimbursement “any time extensive travel is necessary to seek health care, including reproductive procedures.”