Last week, the US Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 vote that overturned Roe v Wade, a 1973 decision that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion.
At Circle In, we believe this ruling is damaging and deplorable on so many levels. Firstly, it denies women their basic human and reproductive rights. Secondly, it puts their health at risk. And thirdly, it undoes so much progress made toward achieving gender equality in the workplace. This is not to mention the impact this will have on minority groups who already face additional obstacles in reproductive healthcare.
The outcome of this ruling is shocking, but the groundswell reaction from organizations worldwide has been heartening.
Here’s what some organizations are already doing:
- Disney, Nextflix, Airbnb, Uber, and Microsoft to name a few, have committed to covering costs for employees who need to travel outside their states for an abortion.
- Tesla, Citigroup, and Apple have expanded their abortion coverage for employees to include costs for travel.
- Rideshare companies, Lyft and Uber, have said they will provide legal support for drivers who face lawsuits for driving passengers to get an abortion.
Australian businesses with a US-based workforce, including Lendlease, Atlassian, Canva, and BHP, have also shown their disdain with support ranging from covering interstate travel expenses to offering additional personal leave.
This is only the beginning and there are so many other ways organizations – big and small – can respond. Here are just a few:
- Stocktake your employee benefits package to cover travel costs for employees who need to travel outside of their state to access an abortion.
- Expand healthcare coverage for out-of-state reproductive care.
- Create a supportive culture by sharing clear and accurate information about reproductive health and access.
- Speak out and raise awareness. This could be through public statements, pressuring governments, or simply having an open dialogue in your workplace.
- Support relief efforts – donate to advocacy organizations and other relevant funds.
At Circle In, we recognize abortion as a health and human right, so we provide two weeks of paid grieving leave for a birth parent, partner, and/or surrogate who experience a miscarriage, abortion, or stillbirth.
Here’s hoping leaders and companies across the globe will continue to react and institute changes to their policies, support, and packages so that all women and pregnant people have access to abortions that are central to their physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing and safety.