The tech giants and the company share their thoughts on the reversal of Roe v. Wade, and many are promising financial support for employees.
The landmark case of Roe v. Wade’s guarantee of a constitutional right to abortion in the United States was overturned on June 24.
A number of states passed ‘trigger’ laws to prohibit or restrict the procedure as soon as Roe v. Wade was dissolved, although changes made by states such as Louisiana, Texas and Utah were temporarily blocked by court judges.
Protesters took to the streets. California, Oregon and Washington have pledged to stay “safe havens” for those seeking dismissal.
The upheaval has not gone unnoticed by businesses and organizations across the United States. Many companies have not released statements on the overturning of Roe v. Wade and instead opted to release statements based on spokespersons upon request. Here’s how organizations are responding.
To take a position
Amazon: The e-commerce giant has pledged to pay its employees more at $4,000 travel expenses for non-life-threatening medical treatment, including abortion services.
Apple: Staff members can use their benefits to cover costs associated with travel outside their home country for health care if necessary. Apple said, “We support the right of our employees to make their own decisions about their reproductive health.”
Atlassian: Financial support is on offer for US employees of the Australian software company.
Bank of America: Reimbursement of travel expenses now covers reproductive health care, including abortions.
Cloth: Canva too provide help travel and accommodation expenses for US employees seeking abortion services.
Citigroup: Citigroup said, “We will continue to provide benefits that support the family planning choices of our colleagues wherever we are legally permitted to do so.”
Dick Sporting Goods: On TwitterDick’s Sporting Goods said that in response to the ruling, the company will provide up to $4,000 to employees living in restricted states to “travel to the nearest location where such care is legally available.”
disney:Disney says the company has “processes in place so that an employee who cannot access care in one location has affordable coverage to receive similar levels of care in another location,” including pregnancy-related decisions. “Disney will continue to prioritize the health, safety and well-being of our team members and their families,” the company said.
Google: Google reminded employees in a note that its “U.S. health and benefits plan covers out-of-state medical procedures that are not available where an employee lives and works,” adding that employees “may also seek relocation without justification, and those overseeing this process will be aware of the situation.”
JPMorgan Chase & Co: In a june 1 memothe financial giant said its healthcare plans would be extended to include travel costs for legal abortions.
“Starting in July, we will extend this benefit to include all covered services that can only be obtained away from home, which would include legal abortion,” the company said.
Lyft: Lyft will cover travel expenses and also intends to expand its legal defense commitment to protect drivers who may be sued for taking passengers to clinics.
Meta: Meta, Facebook’s parent company, will cover out-of-state travel costs for medical care, with the company “evaluating the best way to do so given the legal complexities involved.”
However, engineer Meta Ambroos Vaes complaints that the company has forbidden to discuss the situation internally.
“Sheryl Sandberg posted on her Facebook Account of what happened today, and even the links to his post are removed, lest they offend the few employees who might agree with the craziness that is going on,” the engineer says.
Microsoft: The Redmond giant says so stay engaged to help employees access essential health care. Microsoft said this “includes our previously announced support for travel expense assistance for medical services covered under our U.S. health plan, when care options, including abortion, are limited in the region of origin of an employee”.
netflix: Netflix already provides a allocation for full-time U.S. personnel who must travel for medical treatment.
Selling power: Salesforce said it would Continue to provide travel relocation benefits “to ensure employees and their families have access to essential health care services.”
Starbucks: In May, Starbucks said in a open letter staff that “no matter where you live or what you believe in, we will always make sure you have access to quality health care”.
“Starbucks Healthcare is planning a medical travel reimbursement benefit to access abortion and, soon, access to gender-affirming care,” the company said.
You’re here: Tesla goes to bring reimbursement for health care and abortion services if employees must travel out of state.
Wells Fargo: Travel allowances for medical reasons will be extended “in accordance with applicable law.”
Yelp: Following Texas’ decision to introduce trigger laws with strict limits on abortion, Yelp said employees could claim travel expenses to obtain out-of-state abortion care.
The ramifications for business
The decision will have a ripple effect, not only on reproductive health and family planning, but also on where companies choose to locate and where their investments go.
Take Texas for example. The state already has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States, and although it attempted to enact a trigger ban, it was temporarily suspended by the court.
In March, Texas State Representative Briscoe Cain sent a cease and desist letter to Citigroup for offering to reimburse travel expenses to access out-of-state proceedings.
Cain demanded that “they immediately end coverage of elective abortions performed in Texas in its benefit plans”, or in the face of the prospect of new legislation to prevent organizations in the region from doing business with those that provide travel benefits for abortion care.
Robin Fretwell Wilson, professor of law at the University of Illinois, told NBC News that it’s only a matter of time before companies are sued for “violating” state-level abortion bans by offering to cover abortion-related travel costs.
Other states may follow suit, and companies can also take action themselves by changing site plans.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said in June that he knew of “a business that refused to come to Kansas City, Missouri because of our state leaders’ relentless action to restrict the rights of women and families.” The Kansas City Council is ready to vote on a resolution for city employees to receive an allowance for out-of-state abortion services.
There is also a profit angle to consider. Companies that choose to offer travel reimbursement for family planning and abortion-related health care may be able to deduct the additional cost as a business expense.
However, US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has introduced a bill to “prohibit employers from deducting expenses related to their employees’ abortion travel expenses or so-called ‘gender-affirming care’ for their employees’ young children”.
Additionally, you need to consider the labor itself. Individuals may not want to relocate or work in states that have chosen to restrict abortion rights, which could impact the talent an organization is able to hire or retain.
Support for employees
The annulment of Roe v. Wade is a sensitive topic and one that will impact the delivery of health care in the United States for people who have become pregnant, whether consensual or not, potentially for decades to come.
With this in mind, leaders should tread carefully, regardless of their personal views on the matter.
While many companies have pledged to help with health-related travel expenses, given the extreme sensitivity of the topic, employees forced to give detailed reasons for out-of-state travel may not agree to travel expenses. offer of financial assistance.
They may also fear that information gathered by employers about their decision could be used against them in a lawsuit following a subpoena or request for data by law enforcement.
Employers should review disclosure policies and consider relaxing rules about what employees must disclose about their health care.
It is somewhat dystopian for corporations to have a say in or control of health care in 2022. However, this has become the reality in the United States and it is up to employers to shoulder their responsibility with caution and respect.