Tech giants and the company are making their thoughts on the destruction of Roe v. Wade, with many pledging financial support to employees.
The landmark Roe v. Wade case, which guarantees a constitutional right to abortion in the United States, was quashed on June 24.
A number of states passed “trigger” laws to ban or restrict the proceedings once Roe v. Wade was rescinded, although changes made by states such as Louisiana, Texas and Utah have been temporarily blocked by judges.
Protesters have taken to the streets. California, Oregon and Washington have promised to stay “safe havens” for those seeking a termination.
The revolution has not gone unnoticed by companies and organizations in the United States. Many companies have not released statements about the destruction of Roe v. Wade, opting instead to issue spokesperson-based statements upon request. This is how organizations respond.
Take a stand
Amazon: The e-commerce giant has pledged to pay employees up to $4,000 in travel expenses for non-life-threatening medical treatments, including abortion services.
Apple: Employees can use their benefits to cover the costs associated with traveling outside their home state for healthcare, if necessary. Apple said, “We support our employees’ rights to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health.”
Atlassian: Financial support is offered for US employees of the Australian software company.
bank of America: Travel allowance now covers reproductive health care including abortions.
Canvas: Canva will also Offer help travel and lodging expenses for US workers seeking abortion services.
Citigroep: Citigroup said, “We will continue to provide benefits that support our colleagues’ family planning choices where we are legally allowed to do so.”
Dick’s sporting goods: On TwitterDick’s Sporting Goods said 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 that care is legally available.”
Disney: Disney the company said has “established processes so that an employee who may not have access to care in one location has affordable coverage to receive comparable 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.
google: Google reminded employees in a memo that are “U.S. benefit plan and health insurance cover out-of-state medical procedures that are not available where an employee lives and works,” adding that employees “can also request a relocation without justification, and those who oversee this process will be aware of the situation.”
JPMorgan Chase & Co: In a June 1 memothe financial giant said its health care plans would be expanded to include travel expenses for legal abortions.
“From July, we will extend this benefit to all covered services that can only be obtained far from home, including legal abortion,” the company said.
Lyft: Lyft will cover travel expenses and also plans to expand its legal defense obligations to protect drivers who could be prosecuted for taking passengers to clinics.
meta: Meta, Facebook’s parent company, will help with out-of-state medical travel expenses, with the company “assessing how best to do this given the legal complexities involved.”
Meta engineer Ambroos Vaes claims that the company has banned internal discussion of the situation.
“Sheryl Sandberg posted on her Facebook account about what happened today, and even links to her post have been removed for fear of offending the few employees who might agree with the madness going on,” the engineer says.
Microsoft: The Redmond giant says so remains committed to support workers in accessing critical healthcare. Microsoft said this “includes our previously announced support for travel assistance for medical services covered by our US health plan, when health care options, including abortion, are limited in an employee’s home region.”
Netflix: Netflix already offers a allowance for full-time US personnel who must travel to seek healthcare.
Sales team: Salesforce said yes Get on to offer relocation benefits “to ensure workers and their families have access to critical health services.”
Starbucks: In May, Starbucks said in a open letter to the staff that “wherever you live or what you believe, we will always make sure you have access to quality healthcare.”
“Starbucks Healthcare plans to reimburse medical travel expenses to access an abortion and soon access to gender-affirming care,” the company said.
Tesla: Tesla will provide reimbursement for health care and abortion services if employees have to travel abroad.
Wells Fargo: Travel allowances for medical reasons are: extensive “in accordance with applicable law.”
Yelp: Following Texas’ decision to enact trigger laws with strict abortion limits, Yelp said workers could claim travel expenses for seeking abortion care out of state.
The consequences for companies
The ruling will have a ripple effect not only when it comes to reproductive health and family planning, but also where companies locate and where their investments go.
Let’s take Texas for example. The state already has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the US, and while it tried to enact a trigger ban, it’s temporary suspended by the court.
In March, Texas State Representative Briscoe Cain sent a truce letter to Citigroup for offering travel expenses to access the out-of-state proceeding.
Cain demanded that “they immediately end coverage of elective abortions performed in Texas in its employee benefit plans,” or be given the prospect of new legislation to prevent organizations in the area from doing business with those who provide travel benefits for abortion-related 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 face lawsuits for “violating” state-level abortion bans by offering to cover abortion-related travel expenses.
Other states can follow suit, and companies can also take action on their own by changing settlement plans.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said: in June that he knew of “a company that refused to come to Kansas City, Missouri because of the eager action of our state leaders to curtail the rights of women and families.” The Kansas City Council is set to vote on a resolution for city workers to receive a stipend for out-of-state abortion services.
There is also a profit angle to consider. Companies that choose to offer travel reimbursements for family planning and abortion-related health care may be able to write off the additional costs as a business expense.
However, US Senator Marco Rubio, Florida, has submitted a bill to “prohibit employers from deducting expenses related to their employees’ abortion travel expenses or their employees’ so-called “gender-affirming care” for young children.”
In addition, you have to take into account the workforce itself. Individuals may be unwilling to relocate or work in states that have chosen to restrict abortion rights, and this can affect the talent an organization can hire or retain.
The reversal of Roe v. Wade is a touchy subject and will affect health care in the United States for those who have become pregnant, consensual or not, possibly for decades to come.
With this in mind, executives should proceed with caution regardless of their personal opinion on the subject.
While many companies have pledged to help with health-related travel expenses, given the extreme sensitivity of the subject, employees who are forced to provide detailed reasons for their trip abroad may not take up the offer of financial assistance.
They may also be concerned that information collected by employers about their decision could be used against them in prosecutions following a subpoena or a request for data by law enforcement.
Employers should examine disclosure policies and consider relaxing the rules about how much employees must disclose about their health care.
It’s somewhat dystopian for companies to have a say or control over healthcare in 2022. However, this has become a reality in the US and it is the responsibility of employers to take their responsibility carefully and respectfully.