In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the precedent established under Roe v. Wade, major companies across the country are pledging to pay employees’ travel costs for abortions.
On Friday, the high court ruled in favor of Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case directly challenging the precedent established by Roe in 1973 and Casey v. Planned Parenthood in 1992, which asserted states could not ban pre-viability abortions.
There are 13 states with so-called “trigger laws,” bills essentially outlawing abortion in response to the Supreme Court overruling the Roe precedent. Those states are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Some laws were enacted immediately while others have a 30-day lead-in.
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As CBN News reported, nearly half of the country’s 50 states are poised to ban or significantly restrict access to abortion.
With that in mind, many corporations across the U.S. announced they will foot the bill for staffers who will have to travel to neighboring states in order to obtain abortions.
Some of the companies that have already announced the offering are Amazon, Apple, Yelp, Levi’s, Lyft, Reddit, Meta, Microsoft, Xbox, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Door Dash, MasterCard, Citi, PayPal, Airbnb, Patagonia, J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Zillow, Bumble, and Match.
Several entertainment brands have said the same: Disney, Netflix, Comcast, Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Sony.
Disney, according to Variety, sent a memo to employees Friday, saying executives understand the “impact” of the high court’s decision and “remain committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care” for all cast members, “no matter where they live,” an apparent nod to those living in states where abortion access may be restricted.
Sara Wechter, head of human resources for Citi, said in a statement, “We will continue to provide benefits that support our colleagues’ family planning choices, wherever we are legally permitted to do so,” The Guardian reported.
Interestingly, there have been several major companies that have not yet publicly addressed the Roe reversal, including Walmart, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and McDonald’s.
Politically, though, the battle is certainly just heating up.
In the days since the Supreme Court’s decision, lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have called on the federal government to erect emergency abortion tents on federally owned lands across the country. And former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, said Tuesday that women will die because of the Dobbs decision.
Vice President Kamala Harris began using the Supreme Court ruling as a campaign tool, telling NPR that voters should channel their frustration into political action by voting for Democrats in November who will work to codify abortion access into constitutional law.
“We cannot underestimate the significance of the upcoming elections and the need for all people who care about this issue to understand that we have to have a pro-choice Congress to pass this law,” she said.
While many Christians, conservatives, and pro-life activists are celebrating the overturning of Roe v. Wade, President Joe Biden’s administration is working to counteract the ruling by making abortifacients like the morning after pill easier to obtain, CBN News reported.
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