US Corporations Reiterate Financial Support for Workers Seeking Abortions - Siam Daily


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Monday, June 27, 2022

US Corporations Reiterate Financial Support for Workers Seeking Abortions

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to overturn Roe Vs. Wade on Friday, many large U.S. companies across multiple sectors championed their workplace health plans that will cover out-of-state abortion costs for employees.

JPMorgan Chase confirmed in an internal memo obtained by CNBC that it would maintain its commitment to offer travel benefits for abortions in states where it continues to be legal to receive an abortion.

The Wall Street titan unveiled this component of its overall employee health benefits earlier this month.

“We will also expand our existing health care travel benefit, which today covers certain services such as organ transplants, to all covered health care services that can only be obtained far from your home,” the bank said in a statement.

“Abortion has long been a covered service, and would now be in scope.”

Citigroup reiterated similar benefits for its personnel soon after the ruling. The financial institution initially announced this aspect in March.

Travel Expenses

Dick’s Sporting Goods will give employees or their family members up to $4,000 to help cover travel expenses if they need to get an abortion, according to CEO Lauren Hobart.

“DICK’S Sporting Goods will provide up to $4,000 in travel expense reimbursement to travel to the nearest location where that care is legally available,” the head of the sporting goods retailer wrote.

“We recognize people feel passionately about this topic—and that there are teammates and athletes who will not agree with this decision. However, we also recognize that decisions involving health and families are deeply personal and made with thoughtful consideration.”

Shares rallied more than 8 percent on the news to close above $84.

Denim-maker Levi Strauss shares advanced 3.4 percent after it reaffirmed its policy to cover employees’ out-of-state abortions.

In an internal memo, Disney told staff that it would continue extending comprehensive healthcare access, including abortions.

“We have processes in place so that an employee who may be unable to access care in one location has affordable coverage for receiving similar levels of care in another location,” the company said.

“This travel benefit covers medical situations related to cancer treatments, transplants, rare disease treatment, and family planning (including pregnancy-related decisions).”

Netflix is proffering as much as $10,000 for not only abortion, but also gender-affirming surgery, cancer treatment, and transplants.

Facebook owner Meta stated that it would offer reimbursements to employees searching for out-of-state abortions. However, the tech giant also noted that the company would be “assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved.”

It was also reported that Meta limited internal discussions of the Supreme Court’s ruling. Moderators removed posts on its workplace message board that mentioned abortion, citing “respectful communications.”

Outgoing chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who steps down from her position later this year, wrote in a Facebook post that “the Supreme Court’s ruling jeopardizes the health and the lives of millions of girls and women across the country.”

Lyft, the ride-hailing company, confirmed it would legally protect drivers in abortion cases to ensure that “no driver should have to ask a rider where they are going and why.”

Jeremy Stoppelman, the co-founder and CEO of the online review website Yelp, said in a statement that the company would offer financial assistance to women seeking reproductive care.

“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,” Stoppelman said.

“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,” he said.

Uber has installed a comparable measure that will reimburse drivers who are sued under state law for giving transportation to an abortion clinic.

Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Starbucks, Tesla, and many others will also be extending these health plans to staff. Other organizations have pledged to contribute to organizations that support abortion rights, including Planned Parenthood.

States Marketing Abortion Laws to Corporate America

Several state governors have been marketing their abortion laws as selling points for companies considering relocating operations to different jurisdictions.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul authored an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal last month urging CEOs to “move to New York” because of her state’s comprehensive protections for abortion patients and providers.

“Some companies located in states that limit access are offering transportation for employees to get an abortion out of state,” Hochul wrote.

“But there’s a better way for those CEOs to protect their employees’ essential rights. Don’t keep your operations in a state imposing these barbaric restrictions. Move to New York.”

In a letter obtained by MarketWatch, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy communicated with dozens of companies in various industries, warning about the Supreme Court’s decision.

“The overturning of a woman’s right to bodily autonomy—and the chilling effect this decision will have on your ability to attract and retain top female talent by being located in a state which has refused to recognize women’s reproductive freedom—cannot be ignored,” Murphy wrote.

California’s Financial Incentives

California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed in May more than $2 billion in financial incentives, including grants and tax credits, to appeal to companies that may want to leave anti-abortion states.

“California will not stand idly by as extremists roll back our basic constitutional rights; we’re going to fight like hell, making sure that all women—not just those in California—know that this state continues to recognize and protect their fundamental rights,” said Newsom.

“We’re expanding access to these critical services, welcoming businesses and their employees fleeing anti-abortion states, and reaffirming our commitment to continuing to work closely with the Legislature and reproductive rights stakeholders to further solidify California’s leadership on abortion rights.”

But experts purport that companies are more likely to focus on tax rates, the cost of living, affordable housing, state and local regulations, and logistics than social issues when choosing where to establish operations or relocate their facilities.

Over the last year, Texas has attracted major companies, including Tesla and Hewlett Packard. The Lone Star State possesses some of the nation’s strictest abortion restrictions. Plus, following the Supreme Court’s ruling, the state has a trigger law that will outlaw all abortions.

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