These corporations are backing the sponsors of a national abortion ban
In May, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) clearly stated that he believed Roe v. Wade should be overturned and the abortion issue should be returned to the states.
In June, the Supreme Court overturned Roe and Graham reiterated his position. "All of us in the conservative world have believed that there’s nothing in the Constitution giving the federal government the right to regulate abortion," Graham said in a June 26 appearance on Fox News.
But on Tuesday, Graham introduced legislation that would ban almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The name of the legislation, "Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act," is misinformation. While the legislation bans almost all abortions after 15 weeks, the "current medical consensus is that it is unlikely that fetal pain perception is possible before the 29th or 30th weeks of pregnancy." Further, 15 weeks is not "late" in the term of a pregnancy which typically lasts 40 weeks.
While Graham's bill creates exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, these exceptions come with many caveats. A woman cannot receive an abortion pursuant to the rape exception unless she receives "counseling" or "medical treatment for the rape" at least 48 hours prior to the abortion. Further, the counseling "may not be provided by a facility that performs abortions." A physician must include evidence of the counseling or medical treatment in the patient's file prior to performing an abortion. Doctors cannot consider "psychological or emotional conditions" when determining whether an abortion is necessary to protect the life of the mother.
Graham's bill provides no exception for a pregnant woman who, after 15 weeks, learns that a fetus is not viable due to a developmental abnormality. (Many abnormalities are uncovered during an ultrasound performed around the 20th week of pregnancy.) Under Graham's bill, the non-viable fetus must be carried to term.
Graham's bill does not "strike a balance" between Republicans who have imposed total abortion bans in a dozen states and supporters of abortion rights. Rather, it allows more restrictive state bans to remain in place while imposing national restrictions on states that have chosen to protect abortion rights.
Graham's bill does not yet have formal co-sponsors, but Senator John Thune (R-SD) said he supported the legislation.
And it is not the only national abortion ban introduced this Congress. In the House, Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced the "Heartbeat Protection Act" which bans most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. There are no exceptions for rape or incest. Kelly's bill has 123 co-sponsors.
Graham pledged Tuesday that, if Republicans retake control of the House and Senate, there will be a vote on a national abortion ban.
Major corporations have donated millions to support the reelection of members of Congress who have co-sponsored a national abortion ban. This includes numerous corporations that have been publicly supportive of abortion rights by announcing they would pay for employees to travel out of state to obtain an abortion.
$7 million to the sponsors of abortion bans since 2021
Sponsors of national abortion bans have received $7,169,000 from 40 corporate PACs since 2021. This group of corporate donors includes at least nine companies that publicly announced that they would reimburse employees for abortion-related travel.
AT&T announced on June 24 that it was “reimbursing travel expenses for medical procedures” including abortion. “The health of our employees and their families is important to our company,” AT&T said in a statement.
Since 2021, however, AT&T has donated $330,000 to the legislators behind the national abortion bans introduced in Congress. This includes $4,500 to Graham this year. Both of these donations came after Graham introduced a similar abortion bill in January 2021 that would ban abortion after 20 weeks. AT&T also donated $5,000 to Kelly, more than a year after he introduced the Heartbeat Protection Act.
After Roe was overturned, Google offered employees health care coverage for “out-of-state medical procedures that are not available where an employee lives and works.” In addition to covering costs, Google also informed employees that they can “apply for relocation without justification” if they wish to relocate from a state that no longer has access to abortion procedures.
“Equity is extraordinarily important to us as a company, and we share concerns about the impact this ruling will have on people’s health, lives, and careers,” Google’s Chief People Officer Fiona Cicconi said in a message to employees.
Since 2021, however, Google has donated $98,500 to the sponsors of national abortion bans introduced in Congress.
In June, Cigna told Connecticut Insider that it “already offers our employees and their families travel reimbursement for certain health services and we are expanding that benefit to include abortion care, gender-affirming care, and behavioral health services in states where access is restricted.”
“We’ve long held the philosophy that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to health coverage, and we will continue to partner with each of our clients individually to provide meaningful options, which include travel benefits,” the company said in a statement to Connecticut Insider.
Since 2021, however, Cigna has donated $132,000 to the legislators behind the national abortion bans introduced in Congress. This includes $5,000 to Kelly.
After Roe was overturned, Comcast pledged to “cover up to $4,000 per trip and up to three trips per year for employee medical travel, with an annual maximum of $10,000.” Since 2021, however, Comcast has donated $224,000 to the sponsors of national abortion bans introduced in Congress. This includes $5,000 to Kelly and $10,000 to Thune.
In May, T-Mobile “expanded employee benefits to cover travel costs for abortion if the procedures aren’t available locally.” CEO Mike Siervert sent a memo to employees stating that the company was committed to including the “full range of your health care needs.” Since 2021, however, T-Mobile has donated $110,000 to the legislators behind the national abortion bans introduced in Congress, including $1,000 to Kelly.
Other major companies that have pledged to cover costs for abortion-related travel while also contributing thousands to the legislators behind proposed national abortion bans include Deloitte ($145,500), Amazon ($112,000), Walmart ($98,000), and Ford ($90,500).