Asset managers BlackRock Inc., Fidelity Investments and State Street Corp. have joined other financial services firms in affirming that they would pay for employees' travel expenses related to abortion care, wading into a divisive societal issue that could strain relationships with clients as well as employees.
Their comments came in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on June 24 in the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization case that overturned Roe vs. Wade, a case that set a federal precedent nearly 50 years ago guaranteeing women the right to seek an abortion. Abortion became illegal or more restricted in more than 20 states through trigger laws, new laws, or laws that preceded Roe, and employers are reacting.
Shortly after the court's ruling, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. sent a memo to employees saying it would begin paying for them to travel for abortion care. Bank of America Corp., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. also sent emails to employees that day assuring them that they would pay for their travel.
Now, other financial institutions and money managers say they will do the same.
"In light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, we are working to ensure that all U.S. employees will have access to reproductive health care no matter what state they live in," State Street said in a statement emailed to Pensions & Investments. The firm, which has a $4 trillion asset management unit, also said it would cover the costs for employees to travel outside of the state where they live to receive care.