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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Businesses Offer Travel Compensation for Abortions

Business, National

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jaime Dimon speaking during an interview. | Image by Bloomberg

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JPMorgan Chase sent an internal memo informing its employees that the financial giant would cover their expenses if they seek an abortion out of state because of any new state restrictions allowed under Dobbs v. Jackson.

The memo is dated June 1 and was first obtained by CNBC. It was intended to notify employees of upcoming changes to their medical benefits in July.

JPMorgan Chase announced to its workforce:

“We will … expand our existing health care travel benefit, which today covers certain services such as organ transplants, to all covered health care services that can only be obtained far from your home.”

News broke of JPMorgan Chase’s expanded employee benefits the day the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson case, which overturned the precedent set by Roe v. Wade in 1973 guaranteeing abortion access in the United States.

“Beginning in July, we will expand this [health care travel] benefit to include all covered services that can only be obtained far from your home, which would include legal abortion,” stated JPMorgan Chase in their announcement, according to CNBC.

The bank noted that the company’s health plans had covered abortions for a long time.

Dick’s Sporting Goods released a similar statement, announcing on Twitter that the company would pay for travel for employees seeking out-of-state abortions.

The company posted an internal memo it sent to its employees. The notice stated that employees, their spouses, and their dependents covered by the company’s healthcare coverage would be eligible for a $4,000 travel reimbursement if they needed to go to a state where abortions are legal to seek medical services.

JPMorgan Chase and Dick’s Sporting Goods are joined by Disney and Meta, Facebook’s parent company, among others, in vowing to financially support insured employees who are unable to obtain an abortion in their state because of Dobbs v. Jackson.

The move will likely not sit well with many voters though, much less some employees working at these companies.

Jose Castillo, a Disney employee working in resort management in Orlando, told the New York Post, “This is yet another attempt by Disney to take a political stance that will inevitably alienate potential customers.”

Benji Gershon, the founder of Dallas Jewish Conservatives, spoke with The Dallas Express on the matter. He stated that these companies were “glorifying abortion” by “posturing and becoming woke on these social issues.”

For his part, Tucker Carlson commented on the matter on his show on Friday, pointing out, “It’s obvious why it’s so important to America’s corporations, almost all of whom immediately weighed in to say, ‘We’ll fly you to get an abortion at the state of your choice.’ Well, of course, employees without families are much cheaper for the company.”

Businesses are making these decisions as existing trigger laws are being enacted in states across the country, possibly making it more geographically difficult to obtain an abortion.

Many states have statutes or constitutional amendments on their books that provide for the immediate or swift banning or restricting of abortion if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned. Texas is one such state.

Several large companies have kept quiet about the Supreme Court’s decision, including McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Tyson, and Walmart.

In a statement to the PBS News Hour, the lobbyist association Business Roundtable, which represents some of the country’s biggest companies, declared it “does not have a position on the merits of the case.”

“Executives are feeling some trepidation around this,” said Dave Fleet of the business consulting firm Edelman, The New York Times reported. “They’re concerned about backlash because they know there’s no way to please everyone.”

study published by the American Marketing Association found that many companies worry about speaking out on personal social issues such as abortion due to the effect it could have on their stock prices. Another factor is how speaking out could impact recruitment.

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