The United States Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on Friday, leaving abortion rights to individual states and a large number of people wondering what the hell is happening. Many entertainment companies have assured their employees that, despite the recent rulings, they will stand with their supporters in defense of the body’s autonomy.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote Friday that leading companies such as Disney, Paramount, Comcast, Netflix, Sony and Warner Bros. Discovery, as well as agencies such as WME, CAA and UTA, have sent memos to staff regarding their health care policies. The common thread is a travel allowance for people who would have to leave their country of origin for an abortion.
Netflix maintains a $10,000 travel allowance totaling its full-time U.S. employees for medical issues such as cancer treatments, transplants, gender-affirming care, and abortion. Disney told its staff that travel is covered for those who do not have access to care in their state, including “pregnancy-related decisions.”
CEO of Paramount Bob Bakish sent a memo citing the “moment of deep uncertainty” in the country, but wanted to reassure its employees. †[W]I want to be very clear about what will not change at Paramount,” his note continued, before outlining their benefit policies, which include travel reimbursement “if the covered health service, such as abortion, is banned in your area.”
The Warner Bros. Human Resources Department. Discovery wrote:[g]after the recent Supreme Court decision to undo Roe v. Wade and the likely abolition of access to abortions in some states, we are immediately expanding our health care benefits options to include expenses for employees and their covered relatives who must travel to access a range of medical procedures, including abortion care, family planning, and reproductive health. health.”
Roger LynchCEO of Condé Nast, which owns VF and other publications such as Fashion† wired† Architectural summary† The New Yorkerand GQ Called the Supreme Court ruling “a crushing blow to reproductive rights that have been protected for nearly half a century,” and similarly announced “improvements to our U.S. health benefits to help insured employees and their covered dependents access reproductive health benefits.” care, regardless of where they live.”
As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, areas with so-called “trigger laws” have already introduced new rules. The state of Missouri (population: 6.1 million), which already had very restrictive laws, was the first to announce that almost all abortions have been effectively banned.
A big question mark is Florida (population: 21.7 million) where Disney is of course well represented. From 1 July a new law will come into effect that prohibits abortion after 15 weeks. (It currently stands at 24 weeks.) However, this change is being challenged by two lawsuits — one from Planned Parenthood, another from Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor, a Jewish synagogue, arguing the restriction violates religious freedom.
In Georgia (10.8 million inhabitants) it is even more dire, where Disney’s Marvel has a large production facility. Of Roe v. Wade destroyed, it is believed that a six-week abortion ban, which was temporarily lifted in 2020, is likely to become law. Individual cases in Georgia can get complicated, as many who work on projects that eventually fall under the Disney umbrella may very well be contracted by smaller companies that may not have the same refund policies.
Another question for companies is liability as laws become even stricter. In Texas (population: 29 million, more than the entire continent of Australia), any citizen can sue someone (inside or outside the state) for helping someone have an abortion there. While the law is extremely vague and has yet to be tested, Missouri lawmakers have considered taking it a step further and making it illegal to help someone, even if that person leaves the state. The law seems ridiculous, but recent events have shown that anything is possible.