Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Big Employers Say They Will Pay for Abortion Travel After Row Reversal

Some of the most recognized companies in the US indicated they would expand coverage of medical care out-of-state, a decision that came after the Supreme Court overturned a half-century-old ruling protecting abortion rights. Will cover more than one million employees.

Belvedere corporations from the worlds of finance, media, technology and health care said they would regulate travel for workers who need access to safe, legal abortions and other procedures. The court’s ruling overturned a decades-old precedent that supporters say reshaped the modern economy by increasing opportunities for women.

The largest bank in the US, JPMorgan Chase & Co., will pay its employees to travel to another state to obtain a legal abortion, according to information sent to all US employees this month. This benefit will be effective from July 1.

According to a spokesperson, Meta Platforms Inc., owner of Facebook and Instagram, will “reimburse travel expenses for employees who need to access health care and fertility services out of state, to the extent permitted by law.” The social-networking giant said it is assessing how to do so, “given the legal complexities involved.”

The Walt Disney Company, which has been embroiled in controversy with conservative leaders over its support of LGBTQ people, said it would cover travel costs for employees who cannot afford the care they need in their state. Health care companies CVS Health Corp and Biogen Inc also said they were making out-of-state medical care accessible to their employees, including abortions. A spokesman said CVS had plans ahead of Friday’s decision.

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They join peers including big employer Microsoft Corp, which reiterated similar plans after a court ruling on Friday, which has said that in recent weeks they will provide such coverage to workers.

The Supreme Court’s decision to reverse the Roe v. Wade, 1973 ruling, which ensured the option to terminate pregnancy as a constitutional right, is expected to ban abortion in more than half of US states, many of which Already passed restrictive new laws. Which will start with the reversal of the row.

Just as the decision will create disparities in abortion access, it is unclear whether all employers will follow in the footsteps of the larger companies offering extended benefits on Friday.

Asked by consultancy Gartner in late May what new policies they might adopt if the row is reversed, 60% of human-resources executives said they would not add anything. Less than 10% said they would pay some or all of staff travel costs to obtain a fertility-care facility, or provide paid time off for procedures.

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Offering payment for care received away from home allows companies to show support for abortion rights without taking more extreme steps such as relocating workers and offices or turning to political donations. However, the calculus is full: Although some workers are likely to be relaxed, this approach could open business to criticism or retaliation from abortion opponents in states that adopt restrictions.

“It’s the hottest potato,” said Davia Temin, founder of New York Crisis consultancy Temin & Co. Because companies are commenting on social issues more than ever, the need to do so around abortion is seeping through corporate America. ,

Some high-profile companies had already agreed to cover travel costs and provide other assistance to employees who need to move to a different state for abortions than they are due to restrictions. Citigroup Inc. The initiative, launched in March by Jane Fraser, CEO of Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Match Group Inc., Tesla Inc. and Yelp Inc. Including companies like

Support for employee abortion travel has prompted threats from conservative states against some companies, notably Citigroup, one of the largest US banks.

Nation World News Desk
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