Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Disney, other US companies offer abortion travel benefit as Supreme Court rules Roe

U.S. companies, including Walt Disney Co. and Facebook parent, Meta Platforms Inc., said Friday they will cover employees’ expenses if they have to travel for abortion services after U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade overthrew.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday took the dramatic step of reversing the 1973 landmark ruling that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion and legalized it nationwide, giving a major victory to Republicans and religious conservatives who want to restrict or prohibit, and in some states criminalize, the procedure.

Many states are expected to further restrict or ban abortions after the verdict, making it difficult for female employees to terminate pregnancies unless they travel to states where the procedure is allowed.

For example, in Oklahoma, a bill signed in April bans abortion except in medical emergencies and penalizes violators of the law with up to $ 100,000 in fines and 10 years in prison. The law will come into force in August. States that offer abortion protection include New York and Maryland.

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Disney told employees on Friday it acknowledges the impact of the abortion decision, but remains committed to providing comprehensive access to quality health care, including for abortions, according to a Disney spokesman.

Meta will reimburse travel costs for employees seeking reproductive care outside the state, but the company also “assessed how best to do so given the legal complexities involved,” according to a spokesman.

Companies that offer refunds for abortion-related travel can be vulnerable to lawsuits by anti-abortion groups and Republican-led states, and even potential criminal penalties.
Lawyers and other experts said employers could face allegations that their policies violate state laws that prohibit, facilitate or help and promote abortions.

A draft of the Supreme Court ruling on abortion was leaked in May. At the time, many other companies, including the online review site Yelp and Microsoft Corp. and Tesla said they will help cover the travel costs for employees seeking reproductive services.

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Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said on Friday the ruling “endangers women’s health, denies them their human rights and threatens to undermine the progress we have made in the direction of gender equality in the workplace since Roe. . “

Alaska Air Group, parent of Alaska Airlines, said Friday it “reimburses travel for certain medical procedures and treatments if it is not available where you live. Today’s Supreme Court ruling does not change that.”

Other companies that offer the benefit include online dating sites OkCupid and Bumble Inc., Netflix Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., the country’s largest bank.

“OkCupid is shocked by the news that Roe is being overthrown. It’s a matter of gender equality and a human rights issue,” said Melissa Hobey, OkCupid’s chief marketing officer.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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