Walmart expands employee abortion coverage in certain circumstances

by Jacob Fuller


Yet another major U.S. company will help fund employee abortions.

Walmart Inc., the largest private employer in the United States, is expanding abortion and travel coverage for employees, about two months after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide in 1973.

However, unlike many of the numerous other companies that have made similar proclamations recently, Walmart announced specific limitations to the abortions its healthcare plan will cover.

In a Friday memo to its 1.6 million U.S. employees that was seen by Reuters, the retailer said its self-insured healthcare plans will now cover abortion “when there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability.”

Company employees and their family members will also have their travel costs paid for, if they cannot access a covered legal abortion within 100 miles of their location, according to the memo.

Notably, however, every state that limits abortion provides exceptions that mirror some or all of Walmart’s own limitations. Every state allows legal abortions when the mother’s life is threatened, and most allow exceptions to abortion laws in cases involving rape and incest.

Procedures for ectopic pregnancy are not considered abortions in any state or federal law, and are not considered abortions by medical professionals. Miscarriages, though sometimes referred to in medical texts as “spontaneous abortion,” are tragic events, and are not illegal in any state or federal law.

A host of other companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Amazon, Apple, Walt Disney Co, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Starbucks have also expanded their insurance policies to offer travel benefits to U.S. employees who may need to access out-of-state abortion services.

Copyright 2022 Thomson/Reuters (Edited and expanded for FISM News by Jacob Fuller).