By Steve Gelsi
JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Citigroup Inc. have all extended their travel benefits to employees seeking abortions in other states in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week to strike down Roe v. Wade.
The big banks account for a large chunk of Wall Street that joined several major corporations including Starbucks Corp., /zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite SBUX +1.48% , Tesla Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA -2.62% and Amazon.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -1.44% in covering abortion travel for employees.
Wells Fargo /zigman2/quotes/203790192/composite WFC +2.08% on Monday added its name to the list of these titans to expand coverage of its travel benefits to include transportation and lodging costs for legal abortions. The policy takes effect on July 1, the bank said in an internal memo released to employees.
JPMorgan Chase said Friday it remains committed to a plan unveiled on June 1 to provide travel benefits for abortions in states where it remains legal as part of its employee health benefits.
Reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade , a JPMorgan Chase /zigman2/quotes/205971034/composite JPM +1.48% spokesperson said, “As always, we’re focused on the health and well-being of our employees, and want to ensure equitable access to all benefits.”
An internal Citigroup memo from Citi’s head of human resources, Sara Wechter, reiterated the bank’s policy to provide the same benefits in the wake of the landmark ruling.
“We will continue to provide benefits that support our colleagues’ family planning choices wherever we are legally permitted to do so,” Wechter said. “There will be an intense amount of public debate over this decision, and while that unfolds, please remember that we must always treat each other respectfully, even when our opinions differ.”
Citigroup Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207741460/composite C +1.52% in March said it planned to provide travel reimbursements to employees for out-of-state abortions as the only major Wall Street bank led by a woman — Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser.
An internal memo at Goldman Sachs /zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite GS +1.08% said it has extended its healthcare travel reimbursement policies to include “all medical procedures, treatments and evaluations, including abortion services and gender-affirming care where a provider is not available in proximity to where our people live.” The policy takes effect on July 1.
A Bank of America /zigman2/quotes/200894270/composite BAC +2.40% spokesperson said the company has expanded the list of medical treatments eligible for travel expense reimbursement to include cancer treatment, organ transplants at centers of excellence, reproductive healthcare including abortion, and hospital admissions for mental health conditions.
Some three weeks ago, JPMorgan said it would provide travel benefits for any covered health care service that can only be obtained more than 50 miles from an employee’s home. Previously, the travel benefits only covered organ transplants, bariatric surgery and other more specific services.
“We will also expand our existing health care travel benefit, which today covers certain services such as organ transplants, to all covered health care services that can only be obtained far from your home,” the bank said in an internal memo earlier this month. “Abortion has long been a covered service, and would now be in scope.”
Meanwhile, Citi in said in March on page 20 of its latest proxy statement it began offering in 2022, “travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources” for reproductive health.
The bank said the benefit, beginning in 2022, was “in response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states” in the U.S.
The policy allows for reimbursements of costs paid by employees who must leave their home states to obtain abortions.
The statement came about six weeks after abortion restrictions went into effect in Texas, where Citigroup operates data offices.