Image Source: Indian Express
Due to the restricted access millions of US women experience are set to experience, major corporations like Disney, JP Morgan, and Facebook owner Meta have informed staff that they will pay for employee travel expenses for abortions.
It comes after the US Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that invalidated the right to an abortion under the US Constitution. The decision opens the door for other states to outlaw the practice. Similar actions by other companies, like Amazon, had already been disclosed.
However, an increasing number of businesses have declared since the decision that they will pay for employees’ travel expenses under their health insurance policies when women leave their home states to obtain abortions.
Disney claimed to have informed staff members that it acknowledged the consequences of the Supreme Court decision and was dedicated to providing them with “complete access” to affordable healthcare, including family planning and reproductive care, “no matter where they live.”
A ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which is set to go into force on July 1st, has already been signed into law by the governor of Florida, where Disney employs some 80,000 people at its resort.
A staff note from the investment bank, JP Morgan, published by Reuters, also stated that the company will reimburse US employees for travel costs for medical services, including “legal abortions.” Another top US investment bank, Goldman Sachs, also announced that starting on July 1st, it would pay for workers’ travel costs if they needed to go to another state to seek an abortion.
The social media business Meta stated that, if allowed by law, it will pay for employees’ travel expenditures in order to get out-of-state medical care. Conde Nast, the maker of Vogue, Levi Strauss, and the ride-hailing services Lyft and Uber are among the other businesses that have said they’ll take similar actions.
Additionally, Lyft stated that it will legally defend drivers in cases involving abortions, and a spokesman further stated that “no driver should have to ask a customer where they are going and why.”
Before the Supreme Court’s decision, a number of major businesses, such as Amazon, the review site Yelp, and the banking behemoth Citigroup, had already said that they would compensate staff who travel to avoid regional abortion bans. Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman stated on Twitter that the court’s ruling “endangers the health of women” and that “business leaders must speak out.”
Although individual states will now have the authority to determine whether and how to permit abortions, abortion will not be outlawed everywhere.
A total of 13 states have already enacted “trigger legislation” that makes abortion illegal once Roe v. Wade is reversed.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 20 states are taking steps to restrict access.
Businesses that agree to cover the cost of traveling to another state for the treatment are likely to encounter opposition from Republicans who are anti-abortion.
The topic of abortion is quite contentious in the US. According to a recent Pew survey, 61 percent of respondents believe abortion should always be allowed, and 37 percent believe it should always be outlawed.