Top companies respond to ruling overturning Roe v. Wade
Written by Max Zahn ABC News on June 24, 2022
(NEW YORK) — Major U.S. companies, including Meta and JPMorgan Chase, on Friday said they will cover travel costs for employees who seek legal abortions outside their home state after the Supreme Court released a ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.
Several corporations in recent weeks, including Amazon and Starbucks, had announced expanded health benefits to pay for travel fees incurred by workers seeking an abortion if the procedure is unavailable near where they live.
JPMorgan Chase, one of the nation’s largest banks, informed U.S. employees that it will cover the costs of travel for those seeking an abortion who cannot access the procedure legally in their home state, according to a memo sent to employees on June 1 and obtained by ABC News.
The company will begin covering the travel next month, according to a company web page that details the policy. The JPMorgan Chase memo was first reported by CNBC.
A spokesperson for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, confirmed to ABC News that it plans to offer similar coverage of travel expenses for some employees seeking abortion.
“We intend to offer travel expense reimbursements, to the extent permitted by law, for employees who will need them to access out-of-state health care and reproductive services,” a spokesperson said. “We are in the process of assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved.”
Tesla, Citigroup, Apple and Salesforce are among the additional companies that in recent weeks expanded abortion coverage for employees to include costs for travel when necessary.
Meanwhile, rideshare companies Lyft and Uber have vowed to provide legal support for drivers if they face lawsuits for driving passengers to get an abortion.
“We believe access to healthcare is essential and transportation should never be a barrier to that access,” a Lyft spokesperson told ABC News in a statement on Friday after the ruling. “This decision will hurt millions of women by taking away access to safe, and private reproductive healthcare services.”
Lauren Hobart, the president and CEO of retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods, said on Friday that the company will provide up to $4,000 to cover the cost of travel for employees — as well as their spouses or dependents — who must travel out of state for an abortion. The company refers to its employees as teammates.
“We recognize people feel passionately about this topic — and that there are teammates and athletes who will not agree with this decision,” Hobart said in a statement. “However, we also recognize that decisions involving health and families are deeply personal and made with thoughtful consideration.”
On Friday morning, the Supreme Court released a 5-4 vote that struck down Roe v. Wade, a 1973 decision that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion. In the opinion, Justice Samuel Alito called Roe “egregiously wrong from the start.”
Some business leaders on Friday criticized the Supreme Court ruling and called on their peers to do the same.
Jeremy Stoppelman — the co-founder and CEO of Yelp, which recently announced it will cover the travel expenses for employees seeking abortions — on Friday slammed the decision.
“This 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 in a statement shared with ABC News.
“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 added.
Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck, whose company makes an investing app targeted to women, said the ruling carries negative economic implications in addition to its effects on gender equity.
“As CEO of a financial company built for women, by women — with a team of more than 80% women employees — I know the importance of being able to take control of our money, our choices, and our futures,” Krawcheck said on Twitter.
“Reproductive health care access is a human rights issue, but as we’ve seen time and time again, that doesn’t seem like it’s enough to sway certain people with the power to uphold that right,” she added. “How about this: Reproductive rights affect all of us — because it affects our economy.”
The Supreme Court ruling comprises an attack on reproductive rights, said Roger Lynch, CEO of Conde Nast, which on Friday told employees it would bolster health coverage to include travel expenses for those seeking an abortion.
“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion, allowing individual states to more aggressively regulate or ban the procedure altogether,” he said in the memo to employees. “It is a crushing blow to reproductive rights that have been protected for nearly half a century.”
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