Disney and other companies offer abortion travel benefits after Supreme Court ruling

In Photos |  Activists for and against abortion demonstrate outside the Supreme Court

Several U.S. companies, including Walt Disney Co. and Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc., said Friday they will cover employees’ expenses if they have to travel for abortion services after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

On Friday, the US Supreme Court took the dramatic step of overturning the landmark 1973 ruling that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to abortion and made it legal across the country, handing a momentous victory to Republicans and religious conservatives who want to limit or prohibit, and in some states criminalize, the procedure.

Many states are expected to further restrict or ban abortions after the ruling, making it harder for employees to terminate pregnancies unless they travel to states where the procedure is allowed.

For example, in Oklahoma, a bill signed in April bans abortion except in medical emergencies and punishes providers who violate the law with fines of up to $100,000 and 10 years in prison. The law will take effect in August. States that offer abortion protections include New York and Maryland.

Disney told employees Friday that it recognizes the ruling’s impact on abortion but remains committed to providing comprehensive access to quality health care, including abortions, according to a Disney spokesperson.

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

Businesses offering reimbursement for abortion-related travel could be vulnerable to lawsuits from anti-abortion 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 that prohibit, facilitate or aid and abet abortions.

In May, a draft of the Supreme Court ruling on abortion was leaked. At the time, many other companies, including online review site Yelp, Microsoft Corp. and Tesla, said they would help cover the cost of travel for employees seeking reproductive services.

Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said Friday that the ruling “jeopardizes women’s health, denies them their human rights, and threatens to dismantle the progress we’ve made toward gender equality in the workplace.” I work from Roe.”

Alaska Air Group, parent of Alaska Airlines, said Friday that it is “reimbursing travel for certain medical procedures and treatments if they are not available where you live. Today’s Supreme Court decision does not change that.”

Other companies offering the benefit include online dating sites OkCupid and Bumble Inc., Netflix Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., the nation’s largest bank.

“OkCupid is appalled by the news of Roe’s annulment. This is a gender equality issue and a human rights issue,” said Melissa Hobey, OkCupid’s director of marketing.

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