How Microsoft, Netflix, eBay and other Tech Companies are Standing Against Anti-abortion Laws?
On 24.06.22, the US Supreme Court issued a major abortion decision. The decision overturned Roe v. Wade and declared that the US Constitution no longer guarantees the right to abortion. While the outcome was expected (due to a draft decision leaked months ago), the implications for the tech industry have begun to come to the surface.
In the 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution “makes no reference to abortion” and that “no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” Writing the majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito, joined by the court’s other conservative justices, including Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, tossed out Roe as well as Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 Supreme Court decision upholding abortion rights.
Implications on the US Tech Companies
While the decision will change the landscape of reproductive health in the US, the abortion policy, being limited to a handful of states, allows several other states to pass restrictions on abortion rights. This implies that people hailing from states where abortion is banned will have to travel to other states to get the required procedures done—making the already difficult situation further challenging.
With that said, various tech giants located in the Republican-controlled states are coming out in solidarity and providing financial aid including other forms of assistance to their staff who wish to seek abortion care. This is how some major tech giants responded to the new ruling.
5 Major Tech Companies and Their Responses to the Law
After being approached by TechCrunch, Microsoft said it will “do everything (it) can under the law” to support its employees and their dependents in accessing healthcare regardless of their location in the US. Prior to the decision, the company offered services like abortion and ‘gender-affirming’ care along with its health plans. The company tends to continue this as well as pay travel expense assistance for lawful medical services where access to healthcare is limited in availability in an employee’s home geographic region.
On the other hand, eBay said, effective June 8, 2022, it expanded benefits so employees and their beneficiaries can be reimbursed to travel in the US to receive access to abortion treatment if unavailable locally. The company further said that the process will be managed via its healthcare carriers to maintain confidentiality.
Google said it will allow its employees to move to another state that doesn’t have abortion restriction laws, without really having to justify it. For employees who don’t wish to relocate, the company’s insurance would cover out-of-state medical procedures that aren’t available where the employee lives and works.
During a conversation with CNN, a Netflix spokesperson said that the company is offering travel reimbursement coverage for US full-time employees as well as their dependents in need for travelling for healthcare treatments, which includes abortions and gender-affirming care.
The company actually offers a lifetime allowance of $10,000 per employee or their dependents, per service.
Meta has announced that it is willing to offer travel expense reimbursement, ‘to the extent permitted by law’ for employees who wish to seek out-of-state healthcare and reproductive services. Meta’s spokesperson further stated, “We are in the process of assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved.”
Anwesha has been a creative writer for a while. Currently, on her pursuit of tech writing, she is diving into the realms of technology to produce better content on the forever-changing world of technology. In her free time, you’ll find her humming tunes of her favourite shows or reading a book.