Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, announced on Friday that it will expand abortion coverage and abortion-related travel expenses for its employees.
According to CBN News, the company released an internal memo announcing that its healthcare plans will now cover abortions for employees "when there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability."
Donna Morris, who serves as Walmart's chief people officer, explained in the memo that the retailer's health plans would extend "travel support" for employees and their dependents who travel to get an abortion within 100 miles of its locations.
Walmart also announced that it will launch a center that offers fertility services to its employees, including in vitro fertilization. The company also pledged to include surrogacy support and raise its financial support for adoptions from $5,000 to $20,000.
The decision is a shift from Walmart's past benefits plan for abortion, which applied to cases "when the health of the mother would be in danger if the fetus were carried to term, the fetus could not survive the birthing process, or death would be imminent after birth," a copy of the policy said, according to the Associated Press.
Walmart, which has about 1.6 million employees across the U.S., now joins the list of companies that have announced healthcare plans for employees seeking abortions. Target, Apple and Disney have also expanded abortion coverage. The move comes following the Supreme Court's June decision to reverse Roe v. Wade, returning the issue of abortion to the states.
Arkansas, where Walmart is based, has already banned abortions except in cases of medical emergencies when the mother's life is at risk.
Last month, Walmart's CEO, Doug McMillon, told employees they were "working thoughtfully and diligently to figure out the best path forward" after the landmark ruling by the nation's high court.
At the time, it was unclear what the company's plans were.
In June, Walmart announced that it would expand its distribution of doulas – people who assist women during pregnancies – to women facing racial disparities in maternal care.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Justin Sullivan/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.