Walmart expands abortion coverage for employees

New York
CNN Business

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, is expanding travel and abortion coverage for its American employees, effective immediately.

The company’s health plans will now cover abortion under certain circumstances: when there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability, according to an internal memo sent Friday by Donna Morris, Walmart’s Chief People Officer.

Walmart, which has 1.6 million employees in the U.S., will also expand travel coverage to access services covered by its health plans, including abortion, when they are not legally available within 100 miles of their location. This benefit is available to workers and all family members covered by their health plans.

Morris said the company made the changes after “listening to our employees about what’s important to them,” adding that “we strive to provide quality, competitive and accessible health coverage that supports you and your families.”

The company did not clarify whether the new benefits would be available to all 1.6 million US employees or just some workers. Many of Walmart’s employees work part-time and are not eligible for all benefits.

Walmart’s announcement comes nearly two months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ruling that abortion is no longer a federal constitutional right. The company is headquartered in Arkansas, where restrictive abortion laws have already gone into effect after Roe was overturned.

Following the landmark decision, several corporate giants including Microsoft, Apple, Meta and Disney pledged to provide support and financial assistance to employees — and in some cases, their relatives — seeking abortion services in states that ban the procedure.

Additionally, in a significant expansion of benefits, Walmart is launching coverage for fertility services such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI) and egg cryopreservation. It also benefits surrogacy and quadruples the adoption grant to $20,000.

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