Companies vow to help employees access abortion after Roe vs. Wade is overturned
After the Supreme Court struck down Roe vs. Wade on Friday, many companies reacted with vows of support for employees who may soon find themselves affected by a seismic decision that will shut off access to abortions in large swaths of the U.S.
Abortion will remain legal in California. But some large companies, including Tesla and Oracle, have recently left and moved to states such as Texas, where abortion will soon effectively be illegal.
Corporate executives in many industries — including banking, technology and entertainment — vowed Friday to do what they could to help their employees continue to access the procedure.
Some companies offered to pay as much as $10,000 to help cover travel and other costs if employees find they must leave their state.
“Business leaders must step up to support the health and safety of their employees by speaking out against the wave of abortion bans that will be triggered as a result of this decision, and call on Congress to codify Roe into law,” Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s co-founder and chief executive, said in a statement Friday.
Many companies had already been planning for the court’s expected decision after word of it was leaked this spring.
Most employer health insurance plans cover the cost of abortions, but companies say they are now finding ways to do more to help workers living in states where the procedure will soon be banned.
Here’s what some companies have offered:
Amazon, one of the nation’s largest private-sector employers, told its staff in May that it would cover up to $4,000 in travel expenses for medical treatments including abortion, according to Reuters. Amazon’s benefit is already in effect and applies to employees in corporate offices and warehouse jobs.
As of December, Amazon employed 25,000 people in Kentucky and 7,000 in Louisiana, two states with immediate bans on most abortions. It has 95,000 people in Texas and 12,000 in Oklahoma, where abortion is already functionally illegal and will be officially outlawed via trigger laws within the next month. The company has an additional 59,500 people in states that have trigger laws banning abortion.
JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest banks in the nation, said that starting July 1 employees will be eligible for travel benefits in order to obtain an abortion if they can’t access one within 50 miles of their home.
The benefit was announced in a memo sent to employees June 1 and was part of an overall expansion of healthcare travel benefits, which were previously available only for certain services such as organ transplants.
Walt Disney, Netflix, Sony Pictures and Paramount are among the companies committing to support employees seeking to travel for abortions.
“We’re focused on the health and well-being of our employees, and want to ensure equitable access to all benefits,” a bank spokesperson said in an emailed statement after the Supreme Court decision was announced.
Tesla, which moved its headquarters from California to Texas last year, appears to back health coverage and travel reimbursement for employees seeking to end a pregnancy — although its language is not clear.
The company added a line to its annual Impact Report in 2021 that describes “an expanded Safety Net program and health insurance offering that includes travel and lodging support for those who may need to seek healthcare services that are unavailable in their home state.” The company could not be reached for comment Friday.
Walt Disney Co. told employees Friday that the company remains “committed to 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.”
Disney employees who may be unable to access care in one location have coverage for receiving similar levels of care in another location, a spokesperson said. The travel benefit covers family planning, including “pregnancy-related decisions.”
The entertainment company this year drew the ire of conservative lawmakers when its chief executive spoke against a Florida bill called the Parental Rights in Education law, more commonly known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Snap, the social media company in Santa Monica, said it would provide a benefit allowance of up to $10,000 for transportation and lodging for employees and family members covered by their insurance who need to travel for medical treatments, including abortions, that are banned in their state of residence. “Our goal is to ensure that all Snap team members are able to get access to the medical care they need, and when they need it,” the company said.
Meta — the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other tech properties — said that it intends “to offer travel expense reimbursements, to the extent permitted by law, for employees who will need them to access out-of-state healthcare and reproductive services.”
“We are in the process of assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved,” a Meta spokesperson said.
In May, Meta reportedly prohibited employees from talking about abortion on internal company channels to avoid creating a “hostile work environment.”
Yelp, the review aggregator, said that abortion care was already covered by its health insurance plan, and the San Francisco company began helping its employees and their dependents “travel out of state to access these healthcare services” in May.
Citigroup announced in March that it would cover out-of-state travel costs for abortions amid the uproar over the Texas law restricting abortion access.
“While we are still assessing the impact of the Supreme Court decision and are aware that some states may enact new legislation regarding reproductive rights, we will continue to provide benefits that support our colleagues’ family planning choices wherever we are legally permitted to do so,” Sara Wechter, Citi’s head of human resources, wrote in a memo to employees Friday.
Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, said in response to the decision it had extended its healthcare travel reimbursement benefit to all medical procedures, including abortion services and gender-affirming care where “a provider is not available in proximity to where our people live,” according to an excerpt from a memo obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
“The health and wellbeing of our people and their families are our top priority,” states the memo sent to employees Friday.
Douglas Elliman, the real estate company, said it planned to expand out-of-state healthcare coverage for employees likely to be directly affected by the ruling and would reimburse agents and staff who may be forced to travel out of state to obtain reproductive care.
EBay, the e-commerce company, said in an email that effective this month it had expanded its benefits package to reimburse employees for domestic travel “to receive access to treatment if it is locally unavailable” and cannot be handled by telehealth.
Discord, the internet chat platform, said in an email that the company “will provide up to $5,000 annually for each full-time employee and their dependents to seek medical care outside their local area.”
Rakuten, the online shopping company, issued a statement last month announcing the expansion of employee benefits to ensure continued access “to abortion as an elective procedure, regardless of their location.” A spokesperson said in an email that Rakuten runs large offices “in several states that will be immediately or imminently affected by today’s ruling, including Utah, Florida and Wisconsin.”
Compass, the real estate company, said Friday that “effective today” it was expanding its healthcare coverage “to provide U.S. employees and their dependents a medical travel reimbursement benefit for out-of-state reproductive care for those in areas where that care is not available.”
Dell Technologies, the computer maker in Texas, where abortions will soon be banned, said Friday its employees’ health and well-being remains its priority. “We continue to work with our healthcare plan administrators to ensure the health coverage we offer provides access to all types of covered care, even when providers are not available in a team member’s home location,” the company said in a statement.
Pinterest, the social media company in San Francisco, said it had already reimbursed the travel expenses of employees and their dependents for certain care including organ transplants. “We have now expanded our medical travel benefits in the U.S. to include abortion care,” said LeMia Jenkins Thompson, its chief communications officer.
Times staff writers Brian Contreras, Laurence Darmiento, Sam Dean, Hugo Martin, Russ Mitchell and Jack Flemming contributed to this report.