How Apple, Disney and Other Companies Have Responded to the Supreme Court’s Destruction of Roe v. Wade

by Barbara R. Abercrombie
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The nation continues to grapple with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 case that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion in the US.

The court’s decision on Friday gave states the power to make their abortion laws, many of which have banned or plan to ban or severely restrict access to abortion. At least eight states have bans that are now in effect, and about a dozen other countries will soon introduce bans or near-total bans.

Since the advisory was issued, several prominent executives from the tech, entertainment, and other sectors have spoken out. Some companies have also said they will cover travel expenses for employees who cannot access abortions where they live.

Here’s what companies and their leaders have said so far.

What executives say and companies do

Apple: The iPhone maker said it “supports workers’ right to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health.”

“For more than a decade, Apple’s comprehensive benefits have enabled our employees to travel abroad for medical care if unavailable in their home country,” said an Apple spokesperson.

Box: CEO Aaron Levie shared a statement from the file-sharing and cloud storage company, saying he was disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“In light of the decision, we would like to reaffirm that Box will continue to support paid time off work and also cover employee travel and medical expenses to receive critical reproductive health care,” Levie said. “We remain committed to creating a safe, equitable, and inclusive workplace for all Boxers.”

Bumble: In a blog post, CEO Whitney Wolfe said, “when your ability to choose whether, when, and how to have children is taken away, so does your physical autonomy.” Wolfe said the dating app would support organizations working for reproductive rights, including financial contributions to the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Bungie: Game studio Bungie said it was “fearless” in its “commitment to stand up for reproductive choice and freedom.”

In a blog post, the company said it would implement a travel reimbursement program that employees can use when they or their family members don’t have access to needed health care where they live.

Disney: Disney told employees Friday that it is “committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care,” including family planning and termination of pregnancy.

The company offers travel benefits that give employees access to medical treatment that may not be available at their location, a Disney spokesperson said. All U.S. employees who sign up for Disney’s healthcare plan are eligible, including cast members at parks and resorts.

Google: In a company-wide email published Friday night by CNBC, Google Chief People Officer Fiona Cicconi told employees they could apply for relocation without justification. She also pointed out that corporate benefits in the US relate to out-of-state medical procedures that are not accessible where an employee lives and works. That benefit also covers dependents, she said.

Roe’s overthrow is “a profound change for the country that deeply affects so many of us, especially women,” the memo reads.

“Equity is extremely important to us as a company, and we share our concerns about the impact this ruling will have on people’s health, lives, and careers. We will continue to work to make reproductive health information accessible to all our products and continue our work to protect user privacy.”

Last month, members of Congress sent Google CEO Sundar Pichai a letter urging the company to stop collecting and storing its users’ location data because it could be used to identify people who want to have abortions.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the memo published by CNBC.

Lime: The bike and scooter rental company tweeted on June 24 that all of Lime’s “US-based medical plans cover abortion as an important part of women’s health care.” “prevent access to adequate resources for their health.”

All of Lime’s US medical plans cover abortion as an important part of women’s health care. We will now add a travel benefit for workers living in states that prevent access to adequate resources for their health.

— Lime (@limebike) June 24, 2022

Match Group: The company, which owns popular dating services Tinder, Match, OkCupid, and others, said it is committed to providing safe access to abortion care for all its employees.

In October 2021, the company partnered with Planned Parenthood Los Angeles to provide access to abortion care for workers in Texas after the state passed a restrictive abortion law. The company is exploring ways to extend this partnership to its U.S. employees, a Match Group spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the company’s health care plans now help cover travel and lodging costs for employees who may need to leave the state for medical care.

Meta: In a post on the social network, Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg said the ruling “endangers the health and lives of millions of girls and women” in the US.

“I can’t believe I’m going to send my three daughters to college with fewer rights than I had,” Sandberg wrote. This is a huge setback. We must keep fighting for ourselves, our daughters, and the following generation.”

The tech company is also reportedly looking for ways to cover travel costs for employees seeking an abortion outside of their home state. “We are assessing how best to do this given the legal complexities involved,” a Meta spokesperson told CNN. Meta did not respond to a request for additional comment.

Microsoft: The tech company will “continue to do everything the law allows to support our employees and their registered family members in accessing critical health care — which already includes services such as abortion and gender-affirming care — regardless of where they live in the US”, said a Microsoft spokesperson. This includes “expense reimbursement for these and other legal, medical services” when care is limited in an employee’s home region.

Uber: On Friday, the taxi company reiterated to US employees that it offers “a range of reproductive health benefits, including termination of pregnancy and travel costs to access health care,” a spokesperson said.

“We will also stand behind drivers and reimburse legal fees if a driver is charged under state law for providing transportation on our platform to a clinic,” the Uber spokesperson said.

The company enacted that policy last year after Texas passed Senate Bill 8, a law banning abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. It allows individuals to sue people who assist with an abortion, including doctors and people who drive someone who wants an abortion to a clinic.

Yelp: Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO and co-founder of Yelp, tweeted that the Supreme Court ruling “endangers women’s health, deprives them of their human rights and the progress we’ve made on gender equality in the workplace since Roe.” He called on business leaders to speak out against the “wave of abortion bans” sparked by the decision and call on Congress to codify the right to abortion into law.

In April, the company expanded its health insurance plan, including abortion care, to offer travel benefits to U.S. employees and their family members who may need care outside the state. In 2018, Yelp also tried to reduce misinformation on the review site and ensure that reproductive health care providers, which offer abortion services, are accurately categorized, and so-called crisis maternity centers, which do not.

More Responses to Roe v. Wade Being Destroyed

Alexis Ohanian: The co-founder of Reddit, who is married to tennis star Serena Williams, questioned in a series of tweets whether the Supreme Court would go ahead and overturn Loving v. Virginia, a landmark 1967 civil rights ruling that banned interracial marriage. Legalized.

“‘Let the states decide,’ they said — so they said interracial marriages were illegal — even sent newlyweds to jail for it. This only happened 55 years ago in America, folks,” Ohanian tweeted, referring to interracial marriage laws before the Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia. “Fifty-five years ago, I could have been imprisoned for marrying the woman I love.”

Bill Gates: In a tweet Friday, the Microsoft co-founder said that toppling Roe v. Wade is an “unjust and unacceptable setback. And it puts the lives of women, especially the most disadvantaged, at risk.”

This is a sad day. Reversing Roe v. Wade is an unjust and unacceptable setback. And it endangers the lives of women, especially the most underprivileged.

— Bill Gates (@BillGates) June 24, 2022

Hillary Clinton: In a tweet on Friday, the former Secretary of State said: “Most Americans believe that the decision to have a child is one of the most sacred decisions there is and that such decisions are between patients and their doctors. have to stay.” Clinton added that the Supreme Court decision “will live in disgrace as a step backward for women’s and human rights”.

Most Americans believe having a child is one of the most sacred decisions and should remain between patients and doctors.

Today’s Supreme Court opinion will live in disgrace as a step backward for women’s and human rights.

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 24, 2022

Michelle Obama: Former first lady Michelle Obama said in a social media statement that she was “heartbroken for people in this country who simply lost the fundamental right to make informed decisions about their bodies.” She called the decision “horrifying” and “devastating” but encouraged people to take action by getting involved with organizations such as Planned Parenthood and The United States of Women.

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