The Walt Disney Co. and Netflix joined a number of other major US corporations in announcing that they will cover travel expenses for employees seeking abortion care following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v Wade.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade yesterday (June 24), Disney contacted its staff to let them know that any employee who cannot obtain care where they live—including abortions—will be eligible for the “family planning” benefit.
Disney will pay the travel expenses for anyone who cannot access abortion securely in one location as part of its commitment to its employees. Family members of Disney employees are eligible for the newest family planning benefit, according to the corporation.
In a statement to The Washington Post, Disney said: “We have communicated directly with our employees today that we recognize the impact of the ruling and that we remain 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.”
Disney has about 80,000 employees working for the company in Florida out of its 195,000 worldwide. A law outlawing the majority of abortions beyond 15 weeks was approved by Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in April and will take effect on July 1. Abortion was previously permitted up until 24 weeks.
Additionally, Netflix announced it would provide up to $10,000 in travel expenses to staff members and their dependents who needed an abortion, gender-affirming surgery, or cancer treatment.
Other significant media and entertainment organizations have also declared they will pay for employees’ travel expenses.
The chief executive of Paramount Global, Bob Bakish, and the chief people officer, Nancy Phillips, informed the staff in a memo on Friday that they would pay for travel expenses for workers who needed abortions. They highlighted a number of benefits including: “Reproductive health care through company-sponsored health insurance, including coverage for birth control, elective abortion care, miscarriage care, and certain related travel expenses if the covered health service, such as abortion, is prohibited in your area.”
Warner Bros. Discovery will be expanding its healthcare benefits to cover employees traveling to another state for reproductive care. Variety also confirmed Comcast, the owner of NBCUniversal, has a travel benefit in place to cover employees’ medical services and procedures that aren’t available near an employee’s home.
A spokesperson for Meta has announced the tech giant will also reimburse travel costs but need to work out how to do so without breaking any laws. They said: “We are in the process of assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved.”
The Roe v. Wade ruling, which was upheld for 50 years and gave millions of women the legal right to an abortion, was reversed by the Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday.
A ban on abortions might be enacted in up to half of the states as a result of the court’s decision; 13 states, including Texas and Louisiana, have trigger laws in place that will take effect immediately after the Supreme Court rules. Rudy Giuliani was slapped by an angry supermarket worker over Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.