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25th Jun 2022

Disney and Netflix among US companies announcing they’ll cover employees abortion travel costs

A small comfort.

Following yesterday’s decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed American women the right to an abortion, thousands of protests took place in cities and towns across America.

And understandably so.

Following the ruling, up to 26 US states are expected to further restrict or ban abortions, making it difficult for female employees to terminate pregnancies unless they travel to states where the procedure is allowed.

In a move to show their support with women and their right to choose, companies like Disney, Netflix, JP Morgan, Meta, Conde Nast and Yelp have all come out to say they will cover the expenses of staff forced to travel out-of-state for an abortion.

‘Committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all’

According to the Daily Mail, Disney said in an internal memo to staff yesterday that it would cover the cost of employees who need to travel to another location to access care, including abortions, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision.

The company employs 195,000 worldwide, including roughly 80,000 in Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks of gestation.

Disney told employees on Friday that it recognizes the impact of the abortion ruling, but remains committed to providing comprehensive access to quality healthcare, including for abortions, according to a Disney spokesperson.

‘We recognize the impact of the ruling and that we remain 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 said in a statement.

JPMorgan Chase & Co, America’s largest bank, has also joined the growing list of major companies that will cover expenses for their U.S.-based employees who need to travel to get a legal abortion, and Yelp co-founder and Chief Executive Jeremy Stoppelman said the ruling ‘puts women’s health in jeopardy, denies them their human rights, and threatens to dismantle the progress we’ve made toward gender equality in the workplace since Roe.’

However, their support of women’s right to choose comes at a cost, experts warn, with companies that offer reimbursements for abortion-related travel potentially being vulnerable to lawsuits by pro-life groups and Republican-led states, and even potential criminal penalties.

Lawyers and other experts said employers could face claims that their policies violate state laws banning, facilitating or aiding and abetting abortions.

Companies who has promised to pay for workers’ abortion expenses

  • Disney said it will cover the cost of travel for ‘family planning’ for any worker who cannot access care where they live, including ‘pregnancy-related decisions’
  • Buzzfeed will provide a stipend to employees to travel out of state to access legal abortion services
  • Amazon will provide $4,000 for travel expenses outside of 100 miles of an employee’s home
  • Starbucks will reimburse all abortion travel expenses not available within 100 miles
  • Yelp will reimburse travel costs for employees who can’t access services in their home state
  • Microsoft will reimburse employees for travel expenses related to an abortion
  • Apple will cover all travel expenses
  • Netflix will pay up to $10,000 for travel reimbursement for abortions
  • Tesla pays for travel and lodging for employees who get an abortion outside their home state
  • Levi Strauss & Co. said it would reimburse workers who travel out of state to get an abortion
  • JPMorgan Chase said it would expand its health plan to cover travel expenses for employees getting an abortion
  • Starbucks will reimburse travel expenses for an abortion or gender-affirming procedure that is not available within 100 miles of an employee’s home
  • Citigroup will provide abortion travel benefits
  • Mastercard will pay for travel and lodging for employees who need to travel out of state for abortion services