Walmart expands abortion and travel coverage for US workers

Walmart is the largest private employer in the United States with 1.6 million employees.

Photo: Walmart / Courtesy

After two months ago the Supreme Court annulled the historic decision Roe v. Wade, who legalized abortion nationwide in the United States, Walmart told its employees that it will expand abortion coverage.

In a memorandum seen by Reuters on Friday, America’s largest employer announced it is expanding abortion and travel coverage for its employees.

In the document sent to its 1.6 million US employees, the retailer detailed that its health care plans will now cover abortion. “when there is a risk to the health of the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion or lack of fetal viability“.

According to the retailer’s document, workers and their families will also have support for their travel costs, if they cannot access a covered legal abortion within 100 miles of their residence location.

The company is based in Arkansas, where abortions are prohibited unless the procedure is necessary to protect the life of the mother in a medical emergency.

There are no exceptions for rape or incest, which means that under the new policy, Walmart workers can travel out of state for the procedure with company insurance.

Other companies like JPMorgan Chase & Co, Amazon, and Walt Disney have joined companies that are expanding their insurance policies to offer travel benefits to workers who need to access out-of-state abortion services.

On June 24, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wadedeclaring that the constitutional right to abortion that was defended for almost 50 years no longer exists and leaving decisions about access to abortion in the hands of the states.

Judge Samuel Alito said that the 1973 Roe ruling and subsequent repeated high court decisions that upheld Roe “must be set aside” because they were “extremely wrong”, the arguments were “exceptionally weak” and so “damaging” that they amounted to “an abuse of judicial authority”.

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