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America's fashion businesses pledge to support employees after historic abortion ruling by Supreme Court

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

Jun 27, 2022

Fashion

Image: Levi Strauss, Facebook

In a historic decision and divided nation, the US Supreme Court on Friday reversed a law that upheld the constitutional right to have an abortion. Abortion laws are now in the hands of the state, with many conservative regions expected to ban the right for women to choose, making it illegal to receive reproductive services.

The new law upturns the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, which declared that the Constitution of the United States generally protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose to have an abortion.

Over the weekend many American companies, including leading retailers, sportswear giants, fashion businesses and tech companies made statements to protect their employees and promised to fund travel to states where abortion is legal.

Companies including Nike, Adidas, Levi’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Conde Nast, Amazon, Meta, Gap and Google released statements in the aftermath of the ruling.

Nike’s statement

“Nike offers comprehensive family planning benefits. No matter where our teammates are on their family planning journey – from contraception and abortion coverage, to pregnancy and family-building support through fertility, surrogacy and adoption benefits – we are here to support their decisions.

“We cover travel and lodging expenses in situations where services are not available close to home and regularly make adjustments to our benefits to ensure employees have access to the quality healthcare they need.”

Levi’s statement

“We stand strongly against any actions that hinder the health and well-being of our employees, which means opposing any steps to restrict access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion.

“Protection of reproductive rights is a critical business issue impacting our workforce, our economy, and progress toward gender and racial equity. Given what is at stake, business leaders need to make their voices heard and act to protect the health and well-being of our employees.”

Gap’s statement

“At Gap Inc., we know that a strong workforce starts with the health and well-being of all our employees - 76 percent of whom are women. At a recent employee event, we shared with our teams the wide range of mental health and family planning benefits we offer - because we know it is important to support our employees, regardless of whether, how or when they decide to start a family.

“Some of those benefits include coverage of adoptions, surrogacy, fertility treatments, paid parental leave, contraception, and abortion.

“Any employee covered under Gap Inc.’s UnitedHealthcare plans can access our benefits in any state, either that they reside in or travel to, now or in the future. We are committed to supporting all employees through these important life decisions - no matter where they live or which path they take.”

Dick’s Sporting Goods statement

“In response to today’s ruling, we are announcing that if a state one of our teammates lives in restricts access to abortion, Dick’s Sporting Goods will provide up to 4,000 dollars in travel expense reimbursement to travel to the nearest location where that care is legally available. This benefit will be provided to any teammate, spouse or dependent enrolled in our medical plan, along with one support person.

“We recognize people feel passionately about this topic -- and that there are teammates and athletes who will not agree with this decision. However, we also recognize that decisions involving health and families are deeply personal and made with thoughtful consideration. We are making this decision so our teammates can access the same health care options, regardless of where they live, and choose what is best for them.”

Google, in a memo to employees, said its staff could apply for work relocation amid the Roe V. Wade ruling and that it will be providing “support sessions” to employees in the coming days.

Amazon also confirmed it would pay travel expenses for its workers who need to travel out of state for healthcare.

Facebook and Instagram parent Meta reportedly asked employees to not openly discuss the ruling inside the company’s channels for fear of creating a hostile work environment, according to the New York Times. Meta did make a statement on Friday to confirm it would reimburse travel expenses for out of state reproductive services.

“We intend to offer travel-expense reimbursements, to the extent permitted by law, for employees who will need them to access out-of-state healthcare and reproductive services. We are in the process of assessing how best to do so, given the legal complexities involved.”

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ADIDAS
Dick's Sporting Goods
Levi's
META
NIKE
Roe V Wade
Supreme Court