Most Employers Didn’t Actually Change Anything to Help Employees Access Abortion Post-‘Roe’

In the immediate aftermath of the Dobbs decision, we heard heartwarming stories of corporations rising to the occasion. As it turns out, most large employers didn't update their abortion policies at all.

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Most Employers Didn’t Actually Change Anything to Help Employees Access Abortion Post-‘Roe’

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, we were inundated with heartwarming, inspirational stories of big companies like Meta, Disney, Amazon, Citigroup, Lyft, Uber, and Starbucks stepping up to expand abortion-related health care coverage and assist people traveling out-of-state for care if needed. But, as it turns out, this display of good faith from our corporate overlords was largely bullshit: A new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows most large employers (200+ employees) didn’t actually update their policies regarding abortion coverage at all after Roe fell.

About 12% of large firms whose largest plan covers abortion under most circumstances “added or expanded abortion coverage following the ruling,” the report states. But 75% of large firms didn’t add or expand their abortion coverage, and 13% say they don’t know if they made any changes to their abortion coverage policies—which seems like a pretty important thing to know at a time when abortion is banned in over a dozen states and is difficult and costly to access in pretty much every other state. That’s especially true with the added factor of more out-of-state abortion seekers than ever.

On top of this bleak snapshot, KFF’s report found that 3% of surveyed large employers “reduced or eliminated coverage for abortion” in states where it’s legal, which—for all the aforementioned reasons—is a very, very bad idea. It’s disturbing that any employers would look at the state of reproductive rights in the U.S. and determine that employees in states without bans now need less help. I can’t stress this enough: Abortion access has been completely disrupted nationwide. And on top of all of this, according to several reports earlier this year, abortion funds across the country say that donations are drying up post-Roe, even as demand for help funding abortions continues to soar.

Of course, at the same time as those PR statements were trying to convince the public that these corporations were on the side of abortion rights, Meta was helping the cops prosecute a Nebraska teenager for using medication abortion before Roe was even overturned, not to mention prohibiting employees from talking about abortion. And some of the aforementioned corporations have actively donated to anti-abortion lawmakers.

In light of KFF’s findings, I am once again laughing at a report from summer 2023, which found that male employees are pissed that their companies are supposedly offering abortion coverage benefits, which they’ve convinced themselves is sexist and unfair. (Someone cue the world’s tiniest violin, please!) As it turns out, those supposed ~perks~ don’t even really exist—so, the joke’s on you, bros!

As Jezebel’s written before, no one’s access to abortion care should be contingent on their employment and no one should have to disclose an abortion to their employer for help getting one. And given the findings of KFF’s report, it looks like employers aren’t really even offering this as an option, anyway, contrary to the salient, feel-good media narratives that took off in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Roe. Who would have thought capitalism would once again fail to save us???

About two years since the Dobbs ruling, abortion seekers have pretty much been left to fend for themselves, as employers try to carry on with business as usual and all the initial rage-induced abortion fund donations have ceased. All of that said: It wouldn’t be a bad idea to make a donation to an abortion fund today!

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