Walmart expands abortion coverage for employees after Roe v Wade

Customers outside a Walmart store in Torrance, California, U.S., Sunday, May 15, 2022. Walmart Inc. is expected to release earnings numbers on May 17.

Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

walmart on Friday told employees it would expand coverage for abortion and related travel, according to an internal memo. The change takes place about two months after the Supreme Court struck down the federal right of access to the process.

Effective immediately, Walmart health care plans will cover abortion “when there is a risk to the health of the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or lack of fetal viability,” according to the memo to employees, which was reviewed by CNBC.

Employees and their family members who are insured by Walmart will also have their travel expenses covered if they cannot access a legal abortion within 100 miles of their location, according to the email sent by the company. Walmart human resources director, Donna Morris.

Morris included the abortion updates in a memo outlining Walmart’s open enrollment period, a time when employees sign up for benefits. She said the company prepared for the season and made changes after “listening to our associates about what was important to them”.

“We strive to provide quality, competitive and accessible health coverage that supports you and your families,” she said in the memo.

Walmart is the nation’s largest employer with approximately 1.6 million employees. Last month, the company’s CEO, Doug McMillon, sent an email to the entire employee saying Walmart was “working thoughtfully and diligently to find the best way forward” after the Supreme Court ruling. Walmart at the time did not say what changes the company was considering.

Walmart previously offered more limited abortion coverage. According to the company’s employee handbook, the cost of “procedures, services, medications and supplies related to abortions or termination of pregnancy are not covered, except when the health of the mother is endangered if the fetus were carried to term, the fetus might not survive the birthing process, or death would be imminent after birth.”

The company did not immediately comment.

This story is developing. Please check for updates.

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