Image Source: Indian Express
Given the difficulty in accessing abortions for millions of US women, major corporations like Disney, JP Morgan, and Facebook owner Meta have said they will pay for employee travel fees.
It comes after the US Supreme Court’s historic decision to strike down the constitutional right to an abortion. The decision opens the door for individual states to impose a ban on the practice. Amazon and other businesses had already made similar announcements.
However, an increasing number of businesses have said they will pay for employees’ travel expenses under their health insurance policies if they leave their home state to obtain an abortion following the court’s decision.
No matter where they reside, Disney said it had informed staff members that it understood the impact of the Supreme Court decision and remained dedicated to providing them with “complete access” to affordable healthcare, including family planning and reproductive services.
Disney employs some 80,000 people at its Florida resort, where the governor has already approved a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which is set to go into force on July 1.
According to a staff memo with the date June 1 obtained by the Reuters news agency, the banking behemoth JP Morgan reportedly informed its US employees that it would pay for travel fees for medical services, including “legal abortions.”
According to Reuters, Goldman Sachs, another top US investment bank, also announced that beginning on July 1, it would pay for workers’ travel costs if they had to seek an abortion out of state.
Social media company Meta stated that it would pay employees’ travel fees when allowed by law so they could get out-of-state medical care. Conde Nast, the maker of Vogue, Levi Strauss, and the ride-hailing services Lyft and Uber are among the other businesses that have said they’ll take similar actions.
A spokeswoman for Lyft added that “no driver should have to ask a rider where they are going and why,” and the company claimed it would legally defend drivers in abortion situations.
Before the Supreme Court decision, a number of other businesses, including Amazon, the review site Yelp, and the banking behemoth Citigroup, had previously said that they would compensate staff who travel to get around local abortion bans.
Though individual states now have the power to determine whether and how to permit abortions, the procedure won’t be banned nationwide.
An abortion ban, known as a “trigger law,” has already been enacted in 13 states and will take effect once Roe v. Wade is reversed.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, access is being restricted in more than 20 states.
Republicans who oppose abortion would certainly criticize businesses that offer to pay for the expense of the procedure’s journey to another state.
Texas lawmakers have already threatened legal action against Citigroup and Lyft, and the state’s Republican Party chairman Matt Rinaldi has advised Republicans not to utilize Citi’s services.
In the US, the topic of abortion causes enormous division. According to a recent Pew survey, 61% of respondents believe that abortion should always be legal, while 37% believe it should always be outlawed or almost always.