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Disney Offers Aid to Employees After Roe v. Wade Is Overturned

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark legal decision from January 22, 1973 that was responsible for supporting a woman’s right to an abortion and was responsible for “effectively legalizing the procedure across the United States”. The Supreme Court ruled “that there was no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion” on June 24, and the Walt Disney Company has responded to the ruling by making it clear to its employees (including Cast Members) that Disney will cover travel expenses for any Disney employees who need or want to travel to different states for abortions.

“Disney just informed employees it will indeed cover travel expenses for employees in red states that want an abortion. Big because Disney has so many people in Florida,” Matt Belloni Tweeted in the post above. Since Walt Disney World Resort is located in Florida, it is indeed one of the states with the largest amount of Disney employees (including but not limited to Disney’s Cast Members, who typically work in the Disney Parks in a variety of departments ranging from Entertainment to Food and Beverage).

According to an internal memo to all Disney employees, Disney “remains committed to 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”.

“We recognize the impact that today’s Supreme Court ruling could have on many Americans and understand that many of you may have concerns about what this might mean for you and your families, as medical and family planning decisions are deeply personal,” Disney began in the internal memo.

Disney also added that “we have processes in place so that an employee who may be unable to access care in one location has affordable coverage for receiving similar levels of care in another location. This travel benefit covers medical situations related to cancer treatments, transplants, rare disease treatment and family planning (including pregnancy-related decisions)”. You can see the rest of the memo in the Tweet above.

The Walt Disney Company is not alone in rapidly offering to “pay for employees in red states to travel for abortions”, according to the Tweet below from Matthew Belloni. Companies like Amazon, Sony, Comcast, Warner Bros., Discovery, Paramount Global, and the streaming service Netflix have already made similar announcements.

This is the most recent situation involving Disney’s direct response to a political ruling; Disney recently entered into a conflict with Governor Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, after Disney openly opposed a Florida bill. Disney’s increasing involvement in Florida politics led to criticism from Governor Ron DeSantis, who criticized the Walt Disney Company for pushing a “woke” agenda, and Disney subsequently faced consequences via its Reedy Creek Improvement District (a district in which Disney was essentially self-governing until now). 

Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signing a bill. Credit: WFLA

The tensions between Disney and DeSantis have heightened so drastically that Walt Disney Imagineering has actually postponed plans to relocate the group from Southern California to Florida, presumably to wait until DeSantis is out of office. Time will tell how DeSantis reacts to Disney’s response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!