U.S. companies could face lawsuits for covering staff abortion costs

Major American companies are announcing that they will cover employees’ travel costs if required to leave their home states for abortions. However, this new policy may subject them to legal action and potentially even criminal prosecution.

For those unaware, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the seminal 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had allowed abortions throughout the country. Following this, companies like Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Lyft Inc., and JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced plans to offer those benefits through their health insurance plans.

Soon after the announcement, Conde Nast CEO Roger Lynch circulated a memo to its employees highlighting a travel reimbursement security policy and referring to the court’s judgment as a catastrophic decision to reproductive rights.

Walt Disney Co. released a similar policy, informing staff that while it acknowledges the implications of the abortion verdict, it is nevertheless dedicated to offering full access to high-quality healthcare.

On Friday (24th June), organizations such as Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., Alaska Airlines Inc., Paypal Holdings Inc., and health insurer Cigna Corp. announced their reimbursement practices. Abortion restrictions that were present in 13 states went into force, and it is predicted that at least a dozen additional states with Republican governors would follow suit.

The Mississippi law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks was upheld by the court in a decision that was inspired by its conservative majority. While this is happening, certain areas with Democratic majorities are acting to make abortions more accessible.

Texas state senators have already threatened legal action against Lyft and Citigroup Inc., both of which had recently adopted trip reimbursement plans. In a letter sent to Logan Green, the CEO of Lyft, last month, a group of Republican senators threatened “quick and decisive action” if the ride-hailing firm adopted the policy.

The lawmakers also provided a list of measures about abortion including one that would prevent businesses from operating in Texas if they covered for citizens to get abortions elsewhere.

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