Walmart expands abortion coverage for employees
Walmart, the nation’s largest employer, is expanding its abortion coverage for employees after remaining largely silent on the issue for months following the Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down a nationwide right to abortion.
In a memo sent to employees on Friday, the company said its health care plans will now cover abortion for employees “when there is a risk to the health of the mother, rape or incest, pregnancy ectopic, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability”.
The new policy will also provide “travel assistance” to workers and dependents covered by their health care plans so they can access services that are not available within 100 miles of their location, Donna Morris, the retailer’s chief human resources officer, said in the memo.
Walmart employs nearly 1.6 million people in the United States. In Arkansas, where the company is based, abortion is prohibited under all circumstances unless the procedure is necessary to protect the life of the mother in the event of a medical emergency. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
A Walmart spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the company’s health plan — or travel assistance — will cover elective abortions.
Previously, the company’s benefits plan only covered abortion in cases “where the health of the mother would be at risk if the fetus were carried to term, the fetus could not survive the birthing process or death would be imminent after birth,” according to a copy of the policy seen by The Associated Press but not confirmed by Walmart.
Many companies – including Meta, American Express and Bank of America – have said they will cover the travel costs of their employees following the High Court’s ruling which dismissed Roe v. Wade. But dozens of other companies and organizations that represent some of the most powerful companies in the country. continued to be silent.