Following Roe v. Wade Ruling, Walmart Changes Its Abortion Coverage For Its Employees
When the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, that meant that the decision about whether or not to legalize abortion returned to the states. Currently, different states have different rules about whether or not abortion is allowed and if allowed, under what circumstances. For example, in Arkansas, abortion is only legal during a medical emergency where an abortion would save the mother’s life.
Walmart is based in Arkansas. Walmart is also the largest employer in the United States. Walmart has not been vocal about the overturning of Roe v. Wade; however, now the company is making a stand through a modification of their company’s abortion coverage for employees.
The previous version of Walmart’s abortion coverage stated that abortion was covered “when the health of the mother would be in danger if the fetus were carried to term, the fetus could not survive the birthing process, or death would be imminent after birth.”
Now, Walmart has modified the coverage so that an abortion is covered “when there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability.” New to the policy is coverage for pregnancy resulting from “rape or incest.”
In addition to this expanded coverage, Donna Morris, Walmart’s chief people officer, explained in a memo to Walmart staff that the abortion coverage would also include “travel support.” This support would cover the cost of employees who may need to travel more than 100 miles in order to get an abortion that would be covered by the company’s abortion coverage. For example, if an employee in Arkansas wants to get an abortion but it’s illegal to do so in Arkansas, the “travel coverage” would allow the employee to travel to another state where abortion is still legal in order to get the abortion.
Walmart is not the only company to expand their abortion coverage after the overturning of Roe v. Wade. American Express, Meta and Bank of America have also told employees that they will cover travel costs for abortions. For these three companies, the coverage also includes elective abortions. It is not clear if Walmart will cover travel costs for elective abortions.
Does it surprise you that large corporations are offering to cover travel costs for abortions for employees who live in a state where abortions are illegal?