US company perks used to mean free snacks. Now it’s access to abortion | Arwa Mahdawi

US company perks used to mean free snacks. Now it’s access to abortion | Arwa Mahdawi

US company perks used to mean free snacks. Now it’s access to abortion | Ar...

Corporations are offering to pay for employees who have to travel to access a termination. But there are worrying consequences when human rights are doled out by HR departments

Not so long ago, shortly before everything went to hell, employers wooed workers with perks such as ping-pong tables and free snacks. Now, in a sign of increasingly dystopian times, they are offering all-expenses-paid abortion trips. In the wake of the US supreme court’s decision on Friday to overturn Roe v Wade, a number of large corporations have announced they will pay for employees located in states that have banned abortion to travel to places where it is still allowed. Disney, Netflix, Goldman Sachs and Meta are just some of the companies that have said their benefits packages will cover this.

I applaud any company that is genuinely trying to do the right thing. But before we all take a moment of silence to appreciate the benevolence of our corporate overlords, it is worth asking what some of the companies who profess to care so much about reproductive rights are up to behind the scenes. The answer, in many cases, is writing fat cheques to the politicians and political groups who are responsible for dismantling abortion rights.

Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist

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