What does Roe v Wade mean for employers?
By Lydia Cronin
This week the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion. A number of companies have confirmed they will be covering travel costs through their health insurance. For example, Disney employs 80,000 people in Florida where the governor has signed a law to ban abortions after 15 weeks. Disney has stated it will ensure “comprehensive access” to healthcare for its employees, no matter where they live.
JP Morgan, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Conde Nast, and Amazon are also among the companies that have announced they will cover travel expenses for their employees. These organisations are likely to face backlash from anti-abortion groups.
Travel expenses are not exhaustive as an approach to support. Criticism of this approach includes that it may risk overlooking intersectionality and leaving those most disadvantaged without equal access or adequate support.
This constitutional change puts unprecedented pressure on organisations to step up their involvement in healthcare, just as many have taken more responsibility for mental health. The conversations can be shifted from politics into how organisations can support their employees. Employees will be bringing these conversations to the workplace. Just as organisations have a responsibility around #MeToo, and gender equality, it will be critical that organisations respond to this change.
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