Walt Disney Co., Netflix, Sony Pictures and Paramount are among Hollywood companies stepping in to help employees who will need to travel for abortion care following the Supreme Court’s overturning of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Friday.
Entertainment companies — and the SAG-AFTRA union, which represents performers and broadcasters — have promised to reimburse out-of-state travel for employees in areas where abortion and other health care pregnancy are limited by decision. Walt Disney told employees Friday that he recognizes the impact of the decision.
“We remain committed to providing full access to quality, affordable care for all of our employees, cast members, and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, wherever they live,” the statement said. company to its employees in an internal memo. Disney employees will receive a travel allowance to cover family planning “including pregnancy-related decisions,” he said.
While several entertainment companies are headquartered in Southern California, many have offices and production facilities across the country. States like Georgia became huge hubs for film and television production, but also presented challenges for employers when the state considered restricting abortion.
Netflix, headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif., also provides travel reimbursement coverage for full-time U.S. employees and their dependents who must travel for care, including abortion. This is a lifetime allowance of $10,000 per employee or their dependents per department, according to a Netflix spokesperson.
Paramount also wrote to employees on Friday alerting them to the support the company can offer.
“Across the country, we have entered a period of profound uncertainty – legally and politically, as states pursue different paths on reproductive rights, but also on a personal level, as we try to understand what services will be accessible, when, where and to whom,” Paramount told staff members on Friday.
“Paramount will – as we always have – support the choices our employees make about their own health care. This includes benefits for reproductive health and family building.
Its company-sponsored health insurance includes coverage for birth control, elective abortion care, miscarriage care, and travel expenses for services, such as abortion, that are prohibited in that employee’s area, the company said.
Culver City-based Sony Pictures said it believes employees and their dependents should have equal access to health care and medical services, including reproductive health care, regardless of location.
“For Sony Pictures Entertainment employees in the United States, our medical plans through Aetna provide comprehensive care, including travel reimbursement if required to access health services available under our plans.”
SAG-AFTRA, Hollywood’s largest labor union, told its staff on Friday it had adopted a policy to support its employees in states that restrict access to abortion by paying for trips to areas that may provide these services.
“We will continue to fight for the voice of the overwhelming majority of the people to be heard in state and federal legislatures,” SAG-AFTRA said in a statement Friday.
“We have the collective power to ensure that today’s decision does not exceed the will of the people. SAG-AFTRA will fight to protect women’s right to choice and self-determination recognized for decades.
The Directors Guild Foundation also approved a new policy on Friday to provide financial travel assistance to its members who must travel out of state to ensure they have access to abortion services.
Times writer Hugo Martín contributed to this report.