After corporations across the nation announced they would cover employees' travel expenses to get abortions in other states following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, a veteran-owned business in Texas has responded by offering to pay for employees’ parental leave and adoption costs.
The U.S. Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a case involving Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban, stated that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion, leaving individual states to determine its legality.
In response, over 60 major companies stated their intentions to reimburse employees traveling for an abortion if they live in states that ban the practice, according to a list compiled by Reuters.
Instead of covering employees’ abortion-related travel expenses, Buffer Insurance announced in a June 27 post on its Facebook page that the company would provide benefits for employees who are giving birth to or adopting a baby. The company plans to cover the medical costs of childbirth or adoption and offer paid maternity or paternity leave.
“After the overturn of Roe v. Wade, we took the opposite stance that these big corporations are making, and they’re making it easier for people to abort their babies. We want to make it easy for employees to grow their families,” Buffer Insurance President Sean Turner told The Christian Post in an interview.
“And then if employees want to grow their families through adoption, we want to pay towards those expenses as well,” he added.
Turner added that Buffer Insurance is working with “any and all” employers to help them implement the same benefits and offer them to their employees.
“We realize that a lot of large corporations have some of these policies in place. But specifically, we're a small and young company, so we really want to activate the majority of people who work for other small, midsize organizations,” he said. “So those are the ones that we think are going to have the most impact by implementing these types of policies of generosity in their own business.”
One of the ready-to-use policies Buffer Insurance promotes to other employers includes a lactation policy. Turner explained that this policy offers lactating mothers time to pump breast milk for their babies while they’re at work.
In addition, Turner said that Buffer Insurance is working with employers to help them maximize the benefits and minimize the taxes associated with providing employees with bonuses. He explained that the idea is to offer employees resources and “avoid a lot of waste.”
“Let's say, for example, an employer is saying, I want to give $5,000 to an employee's birth. If they were just adding that to their employees' check as a bonus, there are taxes that employers pay as well as the employee,” Turner said.
“So maybe by the time they receive that, it's only $4,200 or $3,200. So there are ways that we talk about in these resources to avoid those taxes, and it still is a 100% tax-deductible item for the employer.”
“We really encourage business owners and business leaders in different communities to implement something like this that includes a lot of generosity towards their employees,” he concluded.
Earlier this month, The Walt Disney Co. promised in an internal memo obtained by CNBC that it would pay for employees to travel out of state for abortions. In addition to "family planning (including pregnancy-related decisions)," the coverage extends to non-pregnancy situations, including cancer treatments, transplants and rare disease treatment.
"Our company remains committed to removing barriers and providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live," the memo reads.