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Major Hollywood companies vow to help employees seeking abortions

14:13, June 25

As reaction to the US Supreme Court’s overturning of abortion rights in America sweeps the nation, Hollywood studios are focusing on the protection of their employees’ access to health benefits, including travel, Deadline reported.

A Warner Bros. Discovery spokesperson said the company is “committed to offering our employees across the country access to consistent and comprehensive healthcare services. In light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision, we immediately expanded our healthcare benefits options to cover transportation expenses for employees and their covered family members who need to travel to access abortion and reproductive care.”

“Paramount will support—as we always have—the choices our employees make about their own health care,” CEO Bob Bakish said in a note to employees Friday, running down a list of benefits that include “certain related travel expenses if the covered health service, such as abortion, is prohibited in your area.”

Disney executives also communicated directly with staff not long after the decision was released by the Supreme Court this morning, we hear, recognizing the impact of the ruling and committing to quality and affordable care for all staffers no matter where they live or if they need to travel.

Netflix said it already offers a travel reimbursement coverage for full-time US employees and their dependents who need to travel for cancer treatment, transplants, gender affirming care, or abortion through its US health plans. This is a $10,000 lifetime allowance per employee and their dependents per service.

NBCUniversal parent Comcast declined to comment, but it has a travel benefit for both Comcast and NBCUniversal employees that includes all covered medical services and procedures that aren’t available near an employee’s home.

And Sony shared with all SPE employees in the U.S. that its medical plans through Aetna provide comprehensive care—including reimbursement for travel if it required to access services available. “The Sony group of companies believes employees and dependents should have equal access to health care and medical services, including reproductive healthcare, regardless of their location,” it told staffers.

Management companies and agencies also moved to solidify their polices around the issue.

The aforesaid US Supreme Court ruling will lead to a wave of restrictions across the nation in states with so-called trigger laws or preexisting laws in place that can be easily activated or enforced. The Center for Reproductive Rights had calculated if the Supreme Court overturned Roe, as it has, abortion would remain accessible in 25 states and likely would be prohibited in 25 states and three territories.

Photo by AP

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