As reverberations continue to be felt from the revelation that the US Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. WadeUTA is offering to reimburse travel costs for any employees affected by the looming federal abortion ban.
On Monday evening, the website Politico published a leaked draft, (whose authenticity has since been verified) of an expected ruling by the court overruling Roe v. Wade. That landmark 1973 decision guaranteeing women access to abortion has been under pressure as more conservative justices have joined the court, including three appointees by former President Donald Trump.
If the draft ruling is made official in the coming weeks, it will allow individual states to outlaw all abortions, which about half of them are expected to do. Women living in states where abortion becomes illegal will need to travel to another state in order to gain access to legal abortions.
UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer conveyed the agency’s commitment to the new policy in a memo to employees, which was obtained by Deadline. In the memo, he said the new “healthcare benefit” was created “as threats against women’s reproductive rights grow.” Reimbursement will be offered “for travel expenses related to receiving women’s reproductive health services that are not accessible in their state of residence.”
Several US companies, including tech firms like Yelp and Amazon, have made similar pledges to their workers. But UTA appears to be on the leading edge of that effort in the entertainment business.
As threats against women’s reproductive rights grow, we’re introducing an important new benefit. Going forward, UTA will reimburse our colleagues for travel expenses related to receiving women’s reproductive health services that are not accessible in their state of residence.
We’re doing this to support the right to choose that has been a bedrock of settled law for almost half a century. Several states have already introduced restrictive legislation, and the draft Supreme Court ruling leaked yesterday, if it comes to pass, could make abortion illegal in more than half of the country.
UTA has a long history of giving generously through our Foundation to organizations that support women’s reproductive health care, which we will continue to prioritize. Also, in the coming weeks, the Foundation, DEI and WIG will be providing educational resources, programming, and opportunities for discussion. For more details on this new healthcare benefit, please reach out to HR.