Several US companies such as Disney or META, the parent company of Facebook, announced on Friday that they are committed to covering the travel costs of their employees who will have to travel to have an abortion, after the Supreme Court’s decision to cancel. The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that paved the way for the legalization of abortion in the United States.
The Court, where the conservatives sit in power, voted five to four to overturn Roe’s ruling, and the justices upheld that repeal arguing that this provision authorizing voluntary termination of pregnancy at the federal level was wrong, because the United States Constitution does not specifically refer to the right to abortion. .
Several countries may restrict access to, or prohibit access to, abortion following this decision, which will force women to travel to countries where abortions are still permitted to terminate their pregnancies.
A company spokesperson said Disney has told its employees that it is committed to providing access to quality health care, including abortion.
Disney said travel costs for employees who need to travel to another state for health care, including abortions, will be covered by the company.
Meta has also pledged to reimburse travel costs for employees who need to travel to access reproductive health care, with “the company evaluating the best way to do so given the legal complexities involved,” according to Bawab.
Companies offering reimbursement for travel costs for abortions may face lawsuits from anti-abortion groups and Republican states, and even criminal penalties.
“It’s a sad day for the Supreme Court and the country,” President Joe Biden responded, saying the decision by the guarantor of the US Constitution set the United States back 150 years.
Numerous reactions immediately welcomed the decision. A crowd of anti-abortion activists have gathered for days outside the Supreme Court headquarters to let out their joy.
“I am very happy,” said Emma Craig, an activist with the Pro Life San Francisco Foundation. “Abortion is the greatest tragedy of our generation and fifty years from now we will look back in disgrace to the fifty years under Roe v. Wade.”
Former Republican President Donald Trump, who during his 2016 campaign promised to appoint a majority of judges in favor of dropping Roe v. Wade, praised the decision to “return rights to states they always had to stay in.”
In the Vatican, the Pontifical Academy of Life also welcomed the court’s decision. “The fact that a great country with a long democratic tradition has changed its position on this issue concerns the whole world,” she said.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the “Republican-controlled Supreme Court” had achieved its “dark and extreme goal of taking away women’s right to make reproductive health decisions for themselves.”
Former President Barack Obama said the “very personal” decision to have an abortion was now subject to “the whims of politicians and ideologues who attack the fundamental liberties of millions of American women.”
Abroad, French President Emmanuel Macron has declared that abortion must be “protected”, a “fundamental right,” and expressed solidarity with American women. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lamented a “terrifying” decision and his British counterpart Boris Johnson said he regretted a “huge step backwards”.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed his disappointment. “Women’s rights must be respected, I would have expected America to protect such rights,” he said.
Polls show a majority of Americans support abortion rights, but repealing Roe’s rule has been a stated goal of Christian conservatives and pro-life activists for decades, who hold annual rallies in Washington.
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