According to Latest US News, Walmart, the largest private employer in the United States, is increasing its abortion coverage for employees after remaining relatively silent on the matter following the Supreme Court verdict in June that repealed a nationwide right to abortion.
The retail giant said in a statement to staff on Friday that its healthcare plans will cover abortion for employees “where there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or loss of fetal viability.” The measures will go into force “immediately,” according to the memo.
Walmart expands abortion coverage for employees
According to a copy of the policy seen by the Associated Press but not confirmed by Walmart, the company’s benefits plan previously covered abortion only when “the mother’s health would be jeopardized if the fetus were carried to term, the fetus could not survive the birthing process, or death would be imminent after birth.”
Donna Morris, Walmart’s chief people officer, stated in a memo to employees that the new policy will also provide “travel support” for employees seeking abortions covered under its healthcare plans – as well as their dependents – so they can access services that are not available within 100 miles of their locations.
In the United States, Walmart employs over 1.6 million people. The firm is based in Arkansas, where abortion is illegal under any circumstances unless it is required to save the mother’s life in a medical emergency. There are no exceptions for rape or incestuous relationships.
That implies that under the new policy, Walmart employees can go outside of the state – or any other state where abortion for rape and incest is prohibited – to receive the operation using the retailer’s health coverage.
Following the Latest US News, Morris stated in the message, which CNN also obtained, that the changes were made after “listening to our colleagues about what’s important to them,” and that “we try to offer great, competitive, and accessible health care that supports you and your family.”
The corporation also stated that it will open a reproductive clinic for its staff, including in vitro fertilization. latest US News is this It also promised to expand surrogacy help and enhance adoption financial aid from $5,000 to $20,000. Walmart said in June that it will extend the availability of doulas, or women who help women throughout pregnancy, in order to address racial gaps in maternity care.
Other major corporations, including Meta, American Express, and Bank of America, have stated that they will cover their employees’ travel expenses in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling that overturned the federal abortion rights established by the landmark Roe v Wade decision in 1973, including elective abortions. However, a Walmart spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for information on whether the company’s amended policy will also cover elective abortions.
“It’s a start in the right direction, but it’s just not far enough for a corporation that employs that many women,” said Bianca Agustin, director of United for Respect, a nonprofit that fights for Walmart workers. She stated that the association will include “safe abortions” for staff in their list of requests for greater pay and benefits from the corporation.
“It’s a start in the right direction, but it’s just not far enough for a corporation that employs that many women,” said Bianca Agustin, head of corporate responsibility program for United for Respect, an advocacy group for Walmart employees. She stated that the association will include “safe abortions” for staff in their list of requests for greater pay and benefits from the corporation.
According to Vanessa Burbano, a professor at Columbia University’s business school who studies how firms take social stands, Walmart’s deliberate extension of its abortion policy demonstrates it is striving to balance conflicting demands and perspectives from employees, investors, and other stakeholders