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As of June 24th, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of overturning Roe V Wade, a case that protected the federal and constitutional right for women to have an abortion. This decision overturned the 50-year-old landmark ruling and is expected to modify reproductive health in the United States, leaving abortion policies to each state and preparing the way for several states to implement new abortion constraints.
However, the overturn of this law will not prevent all women from having abortions; it only prompts women to seek unsafe methods and risk their livelihood in the process. Women with undesired pregnancies now must seek different contraceptive methods, travel to another state where abortion procedures are legal, or risk their lives by having a dangerous illegal abortion.
President Joe Biden in Disbelief with Supreme Court decision
Following the Supreme Court ruling, President Biden stated, “The court has done what it has never done before: expressly take away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans that had already been recognized.”
He pushed for Congress to pass a law protecting abortion rights, an unlikely move given the sectarian split in the Senate. Biden proclaimed that his administration would defend women’s admission to medications permitted by the U.S Food and Drug Administration. This includes pills for medical abortion and contraception, along with fighting attempts to prevent women from entering other states to obtain an abortion.
This controversial decision has escalated debate over the legitimacy of the Court, once an impenetrable foundation of the American elective government but progressively under inspection for its rulings that are out of line with the majority of the general population.
Following the overturn of Roe v. Wade, twenty-six states are either guaranteed to or considering banning abortion, mainly conservative states.
Companies agree to help with travel expenses, abortion costs
With abortion now being illegal in many states, women must travel out of town to legally get one. However, major corporations, such as Meta, Amazon, Zillow, Disney, Netflix, JP Morgan, WarnerBros Discovery, and many others, have agreed to covering travel expenses or abortion costs for their employees, some companies agreeing to both.
Meta, the business that owns Facebook and Instagram, stated that it would compensate workers who must travel out of state for an abortion. Andy Stone, Meta spokesperson, asserted, “We intend to offer travel expense reimbursements, to the extent permitted by law, for employees who need them to access out-of-state health care and reproductive services. We are in the process of assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved.”
In an internal memo by CNBC, Disney stated that they would reimburse employees if they had to travel to a different state for an abortion. The note said, “Our company remains committed to removing barriers and providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all our employees, cast members, and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live.”
According to a memo obtained by CNBC, JPMorgan chase informed workers that they would be compensated for out-of-state abortions, “Our health care plans have historically covered travel benefits for certain covered services that would require travel…Beginning in July, we will expand this benefit to include all covered services that can only be obtained far from your home, which would include legal abortion.”
Overturning of Roe prompts expansion of reproductive health care coverage
WarnerBros Discovery told NBC News that the organization is “committed to offering our employees across the country access to consistent and comprehensive healthcare services.” continuing by saying, “in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision, we immediately expanded our healthcare benefits options to cover transportation expenses for employees and their covered family members who need to travel to access abortion and reproductive care.”
Amazon announced last month that they would provide up to $4,000 for travel costs and employees’ access to abortions. Just Like Amazon, Lauren Hobart, CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, announced up to $4,000 in reimbursement for workers who must go to another state for an abortion. She declared, “While we do not know what decision each state will make in response to this ruling, we at Dick’s Sporting Goods are prepared to ensure that all of our teammates have consistent and safe access to the benefits we provide, regardless of the state in which they live.”
Zillow stated that as of June 1st, its health plan has been modified to include a recommendation of up to $7,500 “each time significant travel is necessary to access health care, including reproductive services.”
In September, Lyft and Uber stated that they would establish legal defense funds to protect any drivers who could potentially be sued under Texas law for driving a woman receiving an abortion. The driver could be sued, even if they did not know the passenger was getting an abortion. In addition, Lyft said they would donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood to “ensure that transportation is never a barrier to healthcare access.”
CVS, Microsoft, Netflix, Bumble, and United Health also agreed to compensate for travel expenses while helping with abortion funding for employees. These companies listed above are just some of many businesses that care for the well-being of their female employees, willing to pay for travel expenses, reproductive health care services, or even both.
With this controversial ruling, many individuals view it as a significant step back in improving our country. However, despite the contentious ruling, many major companies have vowed to help with abortion funds, showcasing their support of women’s rights and concern for female employees.