BOSTON - In his first public appearance since the fall of Roe v. Wade, Governor Charlie Baker called the Supreme Court's decision deeply concerning. He also said that it may create opportunities to entice businesses to Massachusetts where abortions are protected by law.
"For Massachusetts to encourage some employers to either come here or expand their footprint here," Baker said.
Companies like Google have already told their employees that they can relocate from states where abortion may be outlawed to states where it is protected, according to a memo obtain by The Verge.
Other Massachusetts based companies have signaled that they will pay for travel expenses for their out of state employees to get abortions.
"We are working to ensure that all US employees will have access to reproductive healthcare no matter what state they live in," financial services company State Street told WBZ in a statement.
As companies manage the changing abortion landscape, Boston University School of Public Health professor George Annas says things could get legally messy and companies may open themselves to litigation from states that ban abortion.
"I think it's likely, actually, because anybody can sue anyone for anything and this is mostly politics, this is all politics," Annas said.
There are also insurers in Massachusetts that have out of state members. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, for example, is creating a new benefit to assist members who live where abortions are restricted.
"We've developed a travel benefit that employer may choose to offer for employees who need to travel a hundred or more miles to access abortion services, either surgical or medication assisted," said BCBS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sandhya Rao. "Our legal team is exploring all of the issues related to this, policy. And as things unfold, we'll continue to explore other ways we can support our members."
For out of state residents who come to Massachusetts for an abortion, Governor Charlie Baker says they and the abortion providers they work with are protected by his new emergency order signed Friday.
"We put an emergency order in place that could withstand legal challenge which we believe we've done," Baker said.
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