A number of US employers have agreed to cover travel expenses where staff need to seek abortions outside their home state in the wake of the US Supreme Court ruling on Roe v Wade, overruling the constitutional right to a termination.
The Supreme Court’s decision overrules the Roe v Wade case of 1973, which made abortion legal across the US. It means individual states can introduce bans on abortion, and around half of US states are expected to introduce new restrictions or bans.
Thirteen states have already passed “trigger” laws that will automatically outlaw abortion and others are expected to follow.
Disney, JP Morgan, Meta and Amazon are some of the major brands offering to cover travel costs through health insurance plans.
On Friday (24 June) Disney released a statement to employees, stressing that it recognised the impact of the decision on some employees, and would “remain committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care”, no matter where employees live.
Disney said its coverage would extend to employees needing to receive “similar levels of care in another location”. Around 80,000 of its employees are based at its theme park in Orlando, Florida, which has already moved to implement restrictions to accessing abortions.
A memo seen by Reuters news agency from JP Morgan showed that the bank would cover travel expenses for medical services including “legal abortions”, and Goldman Sachs has reportedly offered the same.
Retail giant Amazon said before the Supreme Court ruling that it would reimburse staff in the US who need to travel for non life-threatening medical treatments including elective abortions.
The company said it would pay up to $4,000 in travel expenses per year to cover treatments not available nearby.
Citigroup, Lyft and Yelp have also disclosed they would reimburse employees who need to travel to another state to circumvent local abortion restrictions.
However, these decisions have caused a backlash in some states. Texan Republican Party chairman Matt Rinaldi urged people not to use Citi’s services, calling its decision to support employees “appalling”.