Disney, Other US Companies Offer Travel Benefits for Abortion After Supreme Court Ruled Rowe

NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) – American companies, including Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) and Facebook Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) He said Friday that they would cover employee expenses if they had to travel to obtain abortion services after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

The US Supreme Court on Friday took the dramatic step of overturning the landmark 1973 ruling that recognized and legalized a woman’s constitutional right to abortion across the country, delivering a critical victory for Republicans and religious conservatives who want to restrict or ban it, and in some states. Criminalization of the procedure. Read more

Many states are expected to impose further restrictions or bans on abortions following the ruling, making it difficult for female employees to terminate pregnancies unless they travel to states where the procedure is allowed.

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For example, in Oklahoma a bill signed in April would ban abortion except in cases of medical emergency and punish providers who violate the law with a fine of up to $100,000 and 10 years in prison. The law is scheduled to enter into force in August. States that offer abortion protection include New York and Maryland. Read more

Disney told employees Friday that it recognizes the impact of the abortion ruling, but remains committed to providing universal access to quality health care, including abortions, according to a Disney spokesperson. Read more

Meta will pay travel expenses for employees seeking out-of-state reproductive care, but the company has also been “evaluating how best to do so given the legal complexities involved,” according to a spokesperson.

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Companies that provide compensation for abortion-related travel may be subject to lawsuits by pro-life groups, Republican-led states, and even potential criminal penalties.

Lawyers and other experts said that employers may face allegations that their policies violate state laws that prohibit, facilitate, assist, or abet abortion.

A draft Supreme Court ruling on abortion was leaked in May. At that time, many other companies including online review site Yelp (YELP.N) and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT.O) and Tesla (TSLA.O) They said they would help cover the cost of travel for staff seeking reproductive services.

The ruling “endangers women’s health, deprives them of their human rights, and threatens to undo the progress we’ve made toward gender equality in the workplace since the Roe era,” co-founder and CEO of Yelp, Jeremy Stoppelman, said Friday.

Alaska Air Group (ALK.N)D., the mother of Alaska Airlines, said Friday that it “reimburses travel for certain medical procedures and treatments if they are not available where you live. Today’s Supreme Court ruling does not change that.”

Other companies that offer this feature include online dating sites OkCupid and Bumble Inc (BMBL.O)Netflix, Inc (NFLX.O) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), the largest bank in the country. Read more

“OkCupid is horrified by the news of Roe’s coup. This is a gender equality issue and a human rights issue,” she said. OkCupid Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Hobby.

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Additional reporting by Nivedita Balu and Tayashi Datta in Bengaluru, Don Chmelevsky in Los Angeles, Doinsula Oladipo and Danielle Wisner in New York and David Shepardson in Washington. Writing by Anna Driver. Editing by Bill Bercrot

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