Aug 19, 2022 - Economy

Walmart expands abortion coverage for employees in some cases

Photo of the outside of the Walmart headquarters

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Walmart told employees Friday that it will expand abortion coverage for certain cases, according to an internal memo obtained by CNBC.

The big picture: Corporations are facing increasing pressure to expand abortion coverage in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Walmart, the U.S.'s largest employer, is headquartered in Arkansas, where abortions are banned except in cases where the pregnant person's life is threatened.

Details: Walmart's health care plans now cover abortions "when there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability," per the memo, which CNBC said it had reviewed.

  • Donna Morris, Walmart’s chief people officer, said the company will also start covering abortion-related travel costs for employees and covered family members if they are unable to obtain a legal abortion within 100 miles of where they live, CNBC reports.
  • Morris said that Walmart will also launch a fertility services center and offer $20,000 in financial support for adoptions, up from the previous $5,000.
  • Walmart did not immediately return a request for comment.

Background: Previously, the Walmart employee handbook dictated that abortions were not covered "except when the health of the mother would be in danger if the fetus were carried to term, the fetus could not survive the birthing process, or death would be imminent after birth," CNBC notes.

Worth noting: The move comes months after companies like Disney, Patagonia and Yelp announced plans to boost support for employees seeking abortions.

Go deeper: Abortion challenges Corporate America's political activism

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