Walmart has introduced a new abortion policy wherein it will cover the cost of abortion cost for employees, when there is a health risk to the mother, or in cases of rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of foetal viability. An internal memo was sent by Donna Morris, chief people officer, Walmart pertaining to the same and the new abortion policy comes into effect immediately.
It is reported that earlier the Company only covered abortion when the health of the mother was in danger, or if the foetus were carried to term, or the foetus was unable to survive the birthing process, or in case of death being imminent after birth.
The new abortion policy also covers the travel cost of the employees and their descendants, so that they can access services that are unavailable within 100 miles of their locations.
Walmart is headquartered in Arkansas, which banned abortion in all circumstances unless the procedure was required to protect the life of the mother in a medical emergency. In fact, there are no exceptions made for rape or incest either. Therefore, Walmart will cover employees’ travel cost to other cities or states for abortion.
As of now, the new policy does not mention whether it covers elective abortion (where a woman chooses to end pregnancy).
Other companies in the US such as Meta, American Express and Bank of America have introduced policies to cover the travel cost of the employees in case of an abortion. Walmart is the largest private-sector employer in the US with 1.6 million employees. Many big companies are yet to take a stand on the Roe v Wade case overturned in June this year.