Disney among slew of U.S. companies promising to cover abortion travel costs
Large U.S. companies reacted Friday after the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, with a slew of corporations vowing to expand health benefits to cover employee travel expenses to obtain abortions.
In the wake of the high court ruling, Walt Disney on Friday said it would cover travel costs for "family planning" for employees who can't access care where they live, including "pregnancy-related decisions." Disney employs 195,000 people, including about 80,000 in Florida.
"We recognize the impact of the ruling and that we remain committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live," a Disney spokesperson stated in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.
In a statement on Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis praised the Supreme Court's ruling striking down Roe v. Wade. He also said Florida will oppose any legal challenges to recently enacted restrictions on abortions. A new law that takes effect in the state on July 1 will ban abortions after 15 weeks, down from 24 weeks under the previous limit.
$4,000 for travel costs
Meta Platforms also said is will cover travel costs for workers seeking out-of-state reproductive services, according to Reuters. The Facebook owner said it "assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved," according to a spokesperson.
Dick's Sporting Goods said it would reimburse as much as $4,000 in abortion travel costs "to the nearest location that care is legally available" for workers, their spouses and dependents.
"We are making this decision so our teammates can access the same health care options, regardless of where they live, and choose what is best for them," Ed Stack, the company's executive chairman, and CEO Lauren Hobart said in a statement posted on social media.
Patagonia on Friday said it covers the cost of medical insurance for full- and part-time workers, including abortion care. "Where restrictions exist, travel, lodging and food are covered," the outdoor apparel company stated.
Patagonia also pledged to cover "training and bail for those who peacefully protest for reproductive justice."
After a draft of the Supreme Court decision upending the 50-year precedent was leaked in early May, companies including MasterCard, Paypal and Starbucks said they would help pay for employees who needed to travel to seek reproductive services.
After several states enacted restrictive reproductive health care laws, companies including Amazon, Apple, Citigroup, Microsoft and Salesforce said they would reimburse workers who get abortions in other states.
Worker advocacy group United for Respect called on Walmart to expand its health care plan, saying the retailer, which employs 1.6 million in the U.S., currently only covers abortions for workers whose lives are in jeopardy.
The group said the retailer's presence in the southern U.S., where multiple states have "trigger laws" in place to ban abortion, gives the company the chance to "step up and ensure its associates are supported."
"As the largest private employer in the nation, Walmart executives can set the standard for other companies by supporting their associates and providing adequate maternity leave, paid sick leave, and covering the cost of expenses for associates who need to travel across the state lines to access abortion services," United for Respect said Friday in a statement.
Walmart did not respond to a request for comment.
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