JPMorgan to reimburse staff’s abortion-related travel
JPMorgan Chase has told employees it would pay for their travel expenses for an abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court withdrew federal protection for women’s reproductive rights.
By a majority of six to three, conservative justices voted on Friday to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade in an anticipated yet highly controversial decision.
The 79-page majority opinion confers the right on states to decide for themselves. It sets up a wave of upcoming bans from so-called trigger laws across 13 U.S. states that will make the procedure illegal within weeks, with others expected to follow, potentially affecting tens of millions of Americans.
In a memo sent to its staff and obtained by Fortune, the Wall Street bank run by veteran CEO Jamie Dimon told workers that new health care benefits will be added in July. The existence of the memo was first reported by CNBC.
“We will also expand our existing health care travel benefit, which today covers certain services such as organ transplants, to all covered health care services that can only be obtained far from your home,” JPMorgan told its staff, adding this “would include legal abortion.”
A spokesperson for JPMorgan told Fortune: “As always, we’re focused on the health and well-being of our employees, and want to ensure equitable access to all benefits.”
Importantly, the enhanced benefits are available not just to the bank’s U.S. employees that are enrolled in the U.S. medical plan, but their covered spouse, domestic partner and dependents as well, according to the memo.
Pregnancy terminations have previously been covered under the bank’s U.S. medical plan, along with a wide range of reproductive health benefits, it continued.
Before today, only Citigroup was known to have provided the travel benefit for employees among rival banks and finance institutes.
The world’s most valuable bank by market cap joins a number of other companies that have made similar pledges such as Tesla, headquartered in Texas and home to some of the most restrictive antiabortion laws around.
In many cases, however, the details on how employees would prove that the services were not available locally, and the types of travel expenses they might be reimbursed for have yet to be announced.
In Texas, for example, laws punishing those for aiding and abetting individuals seeking abortion could complicate reimbursements.
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