Corporations announce plans to pay for employees' abortion travel after Roe's reversal

The Walt Disney World sign for the company's theme park in Orlando, Florida.
The Walt Disney World sign for the company's theme park in Orlando, Florida. | Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Dozens of corporations and employers have announced that they will cover the cost for employees to travel to other states to get abortions as the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade last Friday enables several states to ban or restrict abortion. 

Over 60 major companies have stated their intentions to reimburse employees who need to travel for an abortion if they live in states that have restricted access, according to a list compiled by Reuters

The court's 6-3 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a case involving Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban, stated that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion, leaving individual states to determine its legality. 

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According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 20 states have "trigger laws" on the books which can go into effect and ban abortion in the absence of Roe. Those states include Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. Missouri was the first state to ban abortion, with many others following or preparing to follow its example. 

DICK'S Sporting Goods CEO Lauren Hobart announced in a LinkedIn post that the company is "prepared to ensure that all of our teammates have consistent and safe access to the benefits we provide, regardless of the state in which they live."

"[I]f a state one of our teammates lives in restricts access to abortion, DICK'S Sporting Goods will provide up to $4,000 in travel expense reimbursement to travel to the nearest location where that care is legally available," she continued. "This benefit will be provided to any teammate, spouse or dependent enrolled in our medical plan, along with one support person."

In an internal memo obtained by CNBC, the Walt Disney Company promised employees that it would pay for their travel out of state for abortions. Chief Human Resources Officer Paul Richardson and Pascale Thomas, vice president of enterprise benefits and well-being, signed the memo. 

"Our company remains committed to removing barriers and providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live," the memo states. 

In addition to "family planning (including pregnancy-related decisions)," the coverage also extends to non-pregnancy situations, including cancer treatments, transplants and rare disease treatment. 

Bentley de Beyer, global head of human capital management for Goldman Sachs, stated in a memo obtained by Business Insider that the investment bank extended its healthcare travel reimbursement policies to include abortion and "gender-affirming care." 

Some businesses began announcing they would pay for the cost of traveling for an abortion before the court overturned Roe

In April, Citigroup, one of the largest banks in the country, announced it would pay for employees to have abortions out of state in a definitive proxy statement submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of its annual shareholder meeting. 

"In response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states in the U.S., beginning in 2022, we provide travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources," the statement reads.

Amazon also announced before the Dobbs decision that it would cover up to $4,000 in travel expenses for employees seeking non-life-threatening medical treatments, including abortions. The policy went into effect in January and applies to "treatment" that is not available within 100 miles of the employee's home or if virtual care is not possible.

National Right to Life Committee President Carol Tobias told The Christian Post in an interview last month that she found Amazon's announcement "disappointing."

"I think it means there's a large company that would rather kill their employees' children than have to cover maternity expenses and maternity leave," she said. "And, you know, moms can apparently be a financial drag on the corporation. At least that's what they seem to be saying."

"I look at this as a cost-saving measure for the company, which really degrades motherhood. It totally ignores the humanity of the unborn child."

Other companies that have offered to cover expenses for out-of-state abortions include Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Meta, Microsoft, Apple, Condé Nast, Paramount, Tesla, Netflix, Lyft, Uber, PayPal, Reddit, Comcast, Johnson & Johnson, Yelp and Airbnb among many others. 

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