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Top US companies such as Apple want to pay for employees’ abortion travel costs

Thousands gather outside a Federal building in Seattle to protest the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade. Picture: Genna Martin

Thousands gather outside a Federal building in Seattle to protest the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade. Picture: Genna Martin

Published Jul 5, 2022

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US companies such as Amazon, Apple, Tesla, and more will reportedly reimburse the travel expenses of employees who had to travel out of their home state where abortion is banned to get the procedure.

This is following a historic decision on June 24, by the US Supreme Court to officially reverse Roe v Wade, meaning the constitutional right to abortion in certain states no longer exists.

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Investment bank JPMorgan Chase is reported to have said that from July 1 its workers will receive travel benefits in order to obtain an abortion if they can’t access one within 80.4km of their homes.

This information was purportedly sent by the bank in a memo to its employees on June 1, as part of the expansion of health-care travel benefits.

Walt Disney Co is said to have told its employees that the company is “committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live”.

Elon Musk’s Tesla also appears to be with its contemporaries on the matter, but this is unclear. In its 2021 Impact Report, the automotive company reportedly said: “An expanded Safety Net program and health insurance offering that includes travel and lodging support for those who may need to seek health-care services that are unavailable in their home state.”

According to Reuters, Amazon also told its staff that it will cover up to $4 000 (R65 423) in travel expenses for medical treatments including abortions.

Meta also apparently said it wants “to offer travel expense reimbursements, to the extent permitted by law, for employees who will need them to access out-of-state healthcare and reproductive services”.

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In an email, e-commerce company eBay reportedly said that from late June, it had expanded its benefits package to reimburse employees for domestic travel to receive access to treatment if it is locally unavailable.

In a statement, the American Psychological Association criticised the striking down of Roe v Wade, saying this will exacerbate the mental health crisis the country is already experiencing.

“We are alarmed that the justices would nullify Roe despite decades of scientific research demonstrating that people who are denied abortions are more likely to experience higher levels of anxiety, lower life satisfaction, and lower self-esteem compared with those who are able to obtain abortions,” the association said.

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