House Democrats thank corporations for covering abortion travel costs

House Democrats on Monday penned an open letter thanking the corporations that have pledged to cover employees’ travel expenses to obtain abortion services. 

Many of the nation’s top employers — including Target, Amazon, Nike, Microsoft and Disney — announced that they would reimburse those costs in response to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and ending the constitutional right to abortion. 

Around half of U.S. states are expected to enact near-total abortion bans or heavy restrictions, forcing some Americans to travel long distances to reach an abortion clinic.  

“As members of Congress, we write to thank corporations that have pledged to support their workers who will need to travel out of state or long distances in state for abortion care. We encourage other businesses to follow this example,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter.

More than 70 House Democrats, representing nearly one-third of the caucus, signed on to the letter, which was led by Democratic Women’s Caucus co-chairs Jackie Speier (Calif.), Brenda Lawrence (Mich.) and Lois Frankel (Fla.). 

Most large employers already covered abortions in their health care plans, but the ruling prompted firms to expand their benefits to pay for travel and lodging. Some companies, including Netflix, are reimbursing up to $10,000 for out-of-state travel. 

Experts say that companies want to provide substantial benefits to help retain employees amid a tight labor market. For many employers, the risk of alienating their workers outweighs potential backlash from GOP lawmakers who want to punish companies that help workers access abortion services.

A relatively small number of major employers, including Walmart and Home Depot, have not announced policies to reimburse abortion travel costs.

“When people are able to control their own personal decisions and get the health care they need, including abortion care, they are able to plan for their futures and pursue their goals,” the lawmakers wrote Monday. “This will mean workforces that are healthier and more diverse, productive, and equitable.”

The letter comes after House Democrats passed a bill to restore abortion rights nationwide and a separate measure to prohibit punishment for individuals who travel to another state to get an abortion. The bills aren’t expected to receive the 60 votes needed to bypass the Senate filibuster amid GOP opposition.

Tags abortion Amazon ban corporations costs Disney House Democrats Microsoft Nike Roe v. Wade Target travel

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