A Texas congressman asked four entertainment and social media companies to explain why they emphasize paying travel and other expenses for out-of-state abortions over their existing paid family leave policies for employees.
Women “shouldn’t feel pressured into seeking an abortion instead of taking time off to have their child, especially since women are already having fewer children than they want,” Rep. Michael said. Cloud, R-Texas, wrote Wednesday.
Cloud asked for staff briefings by Wednesday in his letters to waltz disney Co., Warner Bros Discovery Inc., Alphabet Inc. (parent organization of Google), and Meta (which owns Facebook and Instagram).
Cloud, a senior member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s economic and consumer policy subcommittee, wrote that he was concerned that Disney and the other three companies were pressuring female employees to have abortions rather than to suggest alternatives.
On June 24, the same day the Supreme Court released its decision in the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, each of the four companies announced that they will pay travel and procedural costs for employees who request abortions across state lines.
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. told NBC News that the company would expand “health care benefit options to cover transportation costs for employees and covered family members who must travel to access abortion.”
Fiona Cicconi, Director of Human Resources at Google, staff emailed to announce a similar extension of benefits, adding that employees could “request relocation without justification, and those overseeing this process will be made aware of the situation.”
These four companies failed to mention their own existing paid family leave policies, Cloud wrote in the letter. They gave no indication that they would support “women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term and raise their children,” the Texas Republican said.
The Daily Signal sought comment from all four companies on Friday afternoon. Warner Bros./Discovery declined to comment, and Meta, Google and Disney did not respond at press time.
“Women have always been discriminated against for being pregnant because of the number of days they will be out of the workforce due to the birth and care of their children,” Cloud wrote to the companies.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act– passed in 1978 as an amendment to the Civil Rights Act – prohibits this type of discrimination based on pregnancy, he argued.
Cloud suggested that Disney, Warner Brothers Discovery, Google, Meta and others may have violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act with actions they took after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade.
By encouraging their employees to have abortions, these companies have discouraged women from other alternatives, such as requesting family leave and taking extra time off, he said.
In a time of “high inflation, soaring gas prices, and formula shortages,” Cloud wrote to the four companies, “it’s imperative that women feel supported in their decision to balance their families with their work”.
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