Corporate communications to employees and the public at large come as trigger laws in nearly half of the states outlaw abortion immediately.
Some medtech companies are not using the word “abortion” in their statements to news media.
Here is what we’re finding out at MassDevice and Medical Design & Outsourcing:
“Hologic’s purpose is enabling healthier lives everywhere, every day, and our passion is to be global champions for women’s health. Through this lens, we are concerned that women’s health and women’s rights in the U.S. are taking a significant step backward with the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. We know that many people in our organization have strong views about the Court’s historic ruling and despite the varying personal opinions, as an organization dedicated to advancing women’s health, Hologic believes that all women, including our employees and their families, deserve access to the best and most comprehensive healthcare.
“To that point, Hologic’s U.S. health insurance plans will continue to offer comprehensive reproductive health coverage, including abortion services. Although a significant majority of our employees live in states where access will likely remain legal, there will be many states where abortion care will no longer be available. To address this gap, Hologic has expanded our medical coverage to include reimbursement for eligible travel expenses when traveling to obtain abortion services where they are legal. Additionally, our employees have access to benefits that provide counseling and a wide range of additional emotional support services. Mental health is as important as physical health, and we encourage our employees to engage these services, whether to work through specific health situations or more generalized concerns and stressors of the broader environment.” – statement shared by spokesperson Jane Mazur.
“We understand and respect this topic is an important and deeply personal one for many. 3M supports its people through robust benefits that help ensure good reproductive health to meet their individual needs, as well as a variety of programs intended to support families at all stages of life. This includes comprehensive medical benefits plans, covering routine prenatal and postnatal care, prenatal education, medically necessary and elective abortion care, support for birth control, fertility support, adoption and surrogacy support, and up to 6 months of parental leave. Our Short-Term Disability Plan also allows for abortion-related absences. We are reviewing the Supreme Court decision and evaluating what it means and how it impacts employees and our benefit plans.” – statement shared by spokesperson Tim Post.
CEO Bryan Hanson in a statement to employees said that the company will not advocate for or against abortion. “I don’t believe this is a place or time for individuals in leadership, or leadership teams, to allow their personal beliefs to be imposed on others. This is clearly an extremely personal decision, and should remain that way.”
Hanson, however, also said that ZB will be there for its team members, regardless of where they live. “The situation is fluid and many states have not yet weighed in, but our company is committed to providing reimbursement for U.S. team members who need to travel for our covered medical services not available within 100 miles of their home, including reproductive healthcare.
“This, as well as many other topics and issues on the table right now, is deeply personal and people feel justifiably passionate about it. Ultimately, we believe that team members should make their own healthcare decisions in consultation with their healthcare provider — and, ZB intends to support those decisions by ensuring equal, consistent and safe access to the benefits we provide for our team members. … Thank you for caring for and respecting one another during this time.”
“As a healthcare company, we are committed to ensuring access to quality healthcare, and that starts first and foremost with our people. We are expanding our benefits policies to enable access to critical healthcare services for our U.S. employees. The new benefit will allow for reimbursement of travel, relocation, and legal expenses and is in addition to coverage already included in U.S. Medtronic medical plans.” – statement shared by spokesperson Erika Winkels
“Our current U.S. health care benefits offer employees comprehensive coverage including a broad range of reproductive health benefits. We are working in cooperation with our insurance providers and within parameters of applicable laws to continue to provide access to the reproductive care that we currently offer, including making out-of-state care accessible for our covered employees residing in states that have instituted laws that limit access in their states.” – statement shared by spokesperson Kate Haranis
Johnson & Johnson
“As the world’s most broadly-based healthcare company, we strive to improve access and affordability, create healthier communities, and put health within reach for the people we serve. We also believe healthcare decisions are best determined by individuals in consultation with their healthcare provider. We offer reimbursement for travel expenses to U.S. employees and their families for eligible medical services not available from any in-network or out-of-network provider within 100 miles of the patient’s home. This includes treatments such as cell therapy, gene therapy, organ transplantation, and reproductive healthcare.” – statement shared by spokesperson Ryan Carbain.
The company said in a communication to employees on June 24 that it recognized that the U.S. Supreme Court decision might raise questions and concerns for some employees. “Edwards’ health plans support our employees’ ability to access women’s reproductive health services and our HR Benefits team has been proactive in reviewing the plans to ensure this access. They will continue to monitor the details of the company’s health plans in the wake of today’s court decision.”
The company also reminded employees that its Employee Assistance Program (EAP) includes access to counselors or other wellness resources. “Just as we support patients on their health journeys, we also support our employees on theirs, and we seek to ensure access to care and health resources for our employees when they are needed.”
“BD seeks to provide a comprehensive set of quality and affordable health care benefits to meet the evolving needs of our employees and their families. Our benefit plans for our U.S. employees cover a comprehensive list of women’s health and family planning services, including abortion procedures, where legally available, as well as infertility treatments, paid parental leave, reproductive health care, maternity support programs, birthing classes, back-up day care and special needs programs. We are committed to continuing to provide these benefits and have expanded our list of health care procedures for which we provide a travel and lodging reimbursement for associates in the U.S. who do not have access to in-network services within a 100-mile radius of the associate’s home.” – statement shared by spokesperson Troy Kirkpatrick
“As a medtech company, Olympus supports the view that abortion is a part of the safe provision of reproductive healthcare. Olympus is committed to providing quality healthcare support to all our employees. We will continue to support women’s health and additional healthcare needs such as fertility treatments and gender affirmation procedures.
“We are currently exploring other means of support that Olympus may be able to extend to employees, and our HR team is working diligently with our insurance providers to fully understand our options. To the extent possible, we plan to support our U.S.-based employees who may need medications or require travel to seek appropriate healthcare in a different state. As always, Olympus remains committed to making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling.
“Additionally, we will continue to support our gynecology customers and the medical societies with whom we work, such as the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.” – statement shared by spokesperson
Rhia Ventures has created an online database with corporate responses to abortion bans.
This story originally ran on June 28, 2022. Updated June 29 with a statement from Hologic.