Jun 28, 2022 - News

Arkansas companies mum on benefits

Illustration of a caduceus and question mark.
Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Companies from Apple to Zillow and several private equity firms have said they will provide some level of benefits to employees for abortion-related travel costs.

Driving the news: The U.S. Supreme Court's opinion overturning Roe v. Wade has thrust businesses of all sizes into a culture war in which every option — particularly in a red state — looks to be a lose-lose.

What's happening: JB Hunt, Tyson Foods and Walmart have not claimed what, if any, policies will change or be updated for their employees.

  • None have responded to inquiries from Axios.

Why it matters: The three businesses combined employ an estimated 85,000 people in Arkansas, where providing an abortion is now a felony except in instances to save the life of the mother.

Meanwhile, most abortions are illegal in neighboring states Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma. A ban is temporarily blocked in Louisiana.

  • A woman living in Arkansas with an unwanted pregnancy will have to travel hundreds of miles to reach a clinic that provides abortions — the closest being in the Kansas City, Kansas, area or Wichita, Kansas.

The intrigue: Walmart announced last week it's expanding a $1,000 benefit for doula services during pregnancy beyond Georgia, where it started last year, to include Louisiana, Indiana and Illinois.

Disclosure: Reporter Worth Sparkman is a Walmart shareholder and formerly worked at Tyson Foods.

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