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A Year After the Overturn of 'Roe v. Wade': What Nonprofits Need to Know


June 24 marked the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe. v. Wade. This decision ultimately ended the federal constitutional right to have an abortion. After the ruling, many states have enacted laws to further expand or restrict access to abortion. Fourteen states have passed complete bans or placed extreme limits on abortion. With an uncertain future still looming, we’ve examined a few challenges organizations and employees continue to face.


Healthcare Concerns

After the ruling, many employers updated their policies to accommodate the changing legal landscape. Several companies expanded their healthcare benefits by adding reproductive health coverage, travel expenses, expanding leave policies, or creating relief funds. As an employer, it is important to consistently check to ensure your benefits plan doesn’t infringe upon the laws of states that prohibit abortion. Speak with your health insurance vendor, broker, PEO and attorney about risks and possible changes in the plans you offer.


Something to keep in mind is that while you have an established group plan in one state, policies may be issued in other states, where the insurance vendor or PEO is headquartered. This location can affect your benefits and the vendors' intent to change their stance on reproductive health coverage. Employers should review and update their health insurance policies, depending on where covered employees and their dependents work. Ensure that reproductive healthcare services, including access to contraception, fertility treatments, abortion prescriptions, treatment for miscarriages, and other health procedures, are still covered in all the states you plan to hire and currently employ.


Recruiting

One year after the ruling, the job market has felt the effects. In states where abortion rights are severely restricted, individuals seeking abortion services face significant barriers, affecting their decision-making process related to their careers. These barriers ultimately affect employee recruitment and retention, as individuals seek out employers who align with their values and provide support for their reproductive healthcare needs.


Review your remote/hybrid/in-office policies. Consider attracting job seekers or retaining current employees evaluating relocating to other states (or countries). As the availability of abortion services become more limited and geographically concentrated, job seekers, and current employees, may consider relocation to places where reproductive rights are protected and access to healthcare, including abortion services, are readily available.


Look at your criminal record policy. We likely will start seeing higher arrests and convictions of people due to their decisions related to abortions. Ensure your policy does not have strict language prohibiting those workers from joining or continuing to work for you.


One of the learnings from the Great Reshuffle is that employees want to work for employers with values aligned with theirs; workers want to work for mission-driven companies. While it may be hard to please all your employees or the communities you serve, keep in mind that if you don't offer an opinion on reproductive healthcare and abortion, your employees will make assumptions. Share your organization’s efforts and views, and encourage professional and respectful dialogues.


How to Help

As the laws continue to change, employers that operate in multiple states will need to navigate the confusing landscape. In addition to habitually reviewing policies and procedures, here are a few additional ways to help support your team.


Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): EAPs can be expanded to include counseling services and emotional support, as well as providing confidential resources and professional assistance to help employees navigate personal and emotional challenges.

Confidentiality and Privacy: Employers should emphasize and reinforce the importance of confidentiality and privacy regarding employees' personal health decisions by implementing strict data protection policies and ensuring that sensitive information is handled appropriately.

Create a Supportive Environment: Train your managers on effectively supporting their teams by creating a safe space for respectful conversations and offering resources that help employees understand their rights and the available options in the absence of Roe v. Wade.


Reach out to Kiwi Partners' HR Services to the challenges and lead your team with compassion and courage.

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