Disney, other U.S. companies offer abortion travel benefit as Supreme Court strikes down Roe

NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) – U.S. companies including Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) and Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) said on Friday they would cover the expenses of employees s they had to travel for abortion services after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.

The U.S. Supreme Court made the dramatic move on Friday to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to abortion and legalized it nationwide, handing Republicans a momentous victory. and to religious conservatives who want to limit or prohibit and, in some states criminalize, the procedure. Read more

Many states are expected to further restrict or ban abortions as a result of the ruling, making it difficult for employees to terminate a pregnancy unless they travel to states where the procedure is permitted.

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For example, in Oklahoma, a bill signed in April bans abortion except in medical emergencies and penalizes providers who break the law with up to $100,000 in fines and 10 years in prison. The law is due to come into force in August. States offering abortion protections include New York and Maryland. Read more

Disney told its employees Friday that it recognizes the decision’s impact on abortion, but remains committed to providing full access to quality health care, including abortions, according to a spokesperson for Disney. Disney. Read more

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

Companies that offer reimbursements for abortion-related travel could face lawsuits from pro-life groups and Republican-run states, and even potential criminal penalties.

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

A draft Supreme Court decision on abortion was leaked in May. At that time, many other companies, including online review site Yelp (YELP.N) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Tesla (TSLA.O), said they would help defray the cost of movement of employees in search of reproduction services.

Yelp co-founder and chief executive Jeremy Stoppelman said Friday the decision “puts women’s health at risk, strips them of their human rights, and threatens to undo the progress we’ve made toward gender equality. in the workplace since Roe”.

Alaska Air Group (ALK.N), parent company of Alaska Airlines, said on 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 offering this benefit include online dating sites OkCupid and Bumble Inc (BMBL.O), Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), the nation’s largest bank. Read more

“OkCupid is horrified by the news of Roe’s overthrow. It’s a gender equality issue and a human rights issue,” said. Melissa Hobey, Marketing Director of OkCupid.

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Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru, Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles and Doyinsola Oladipo and Daniel Wiessner in New York and David Shepardson in Washington; Written by Anna Driver; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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