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Disney offers ‘travel benefit’ for employees seeking an abortion

Updated June 24, 2022 - 10:19 pm

The Walt Disney Co., which employs some 80,000 people at its theme parks and other operations in Florida, said it will offer employees a “travel benefit” to cover costs related to seeking an abortion.

After the Supreme Court announced its ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending constitutional protections for abortion, a company spokesperson said Disney will help employees obtain whatever medical care they seek.

In a statement emailed to the Tampa Bay Times, the company said employees who are “unable to access care in one location” will have “affordable coverage for receiving similar levels of care in another location.” That includes “pregnancy-related decisions.” The company did not say whether the “travel benefit” it would offer would be a full or partial reimbursement.

“We have communicated directly with our employees today that we recognize the impact of the ruling and that we remain committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live,” the statement read.

Chase Bank, one of the largest employers in the financial services industry, also announced Friday that it would pay for employees to travel to get abortion services if they live in a state that prohibits abortion.

Later Friday, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced on Twitter that it would provide up to $4,000 for employees who have medical insurance through the company to travel for abortion services if the state they live in prohibits abortions.

The Supreme Court decision allows 13 states to immediately ban abortion, and more could follow suit. In Florida, a ban on most abortions after 15 weeks will go into effect on July 1.

Disney has been at loggerheads with the state in recent months over its opposition to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education legislation, often referred to as the “don’t say gay” bill. Disney suspended political donations following the controversy surrounding the bill, which prompted the state to review and revoke the company’s special tax district status for the area around its parks, known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

In a statement Friday, DeSantis said he would “work to expand pro-life protections” in Florida.

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