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Two Years After the Overturn of 'Roe v. Wade': What Nonprofits Need to Know


June 24, 2024 marked the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending the federal constitutional right to abortion. Following the ruling, many states have enacted laws either expanding or severely restricting access to abortion. Fourteen states have implemented complete bans or extreme limitations. With uncertainty still prevalent, organizations and employees face numerous challenges.


Healthcare Concerns

In response to the ruling, many employers have updated their policies to accommodate the evolving legal landscape. Companies have expanded healthcare benefits by including reproductive health coverage, travel expenses, extended leave policies, or by creating relief funds. It is crucial for employers to ensure their benefits plans comply with state laws prohibiting abortion. Regularly consult with your health insurance vendor, broker, Professional Employer Organization (PEO), and attorney to assess risks and necessary changes in the plans you offer.


Employers should review and update their health insurance policies to ensure comprehensive reproductive healthcare coverage for employees and their dependents, regardless of where they work. This includes access to contraception, fertility treatments, abortion prescriptions, miscarriage treatments, and other related services. Policies might be influenced by the state where the insurance vendor or PEO is based, which can affect the coverage provided. Therefore, it's crucial to align health insurance policies with the locations of all employees to ensure consistent coverage across all states where staff are employed or will be hired.


Impact on Recruiting

The job market has felt the impact of the ruling. In states with severe abortion restrictions, individuals seeking these services face significant barriers influencing their career decisions. This situation affects employee recruitment and retention, as individuals look for employers who align with their values and support reproductive healthcare needs.


Review your remote, hybrid, and in-office policies. Consider attracting job seekers or retaining current employees by evaluating relocation to states (or countries) with protected reproductive rights and accessible healthcare, including abortion services.


Reexamine your criminal record policy. We may see increased arrests and convictions related to abortion decisions. Ensure your policy does not strictly prohibit these workers from joining or continuing employment.


The Great Reshuffle has taught us that employees prefer mission-driven organizations with values that align with their own. While it may be challenging to please all employees or the communities you serve, keep in mind that remaining silent on reproductive healthcare and abortion may lead to assumptions by your employees. Share your organization’s stance and encourage respectful and professional dialogues.


How to Support Your Team in a Changing Legal Landscape


As laws continue to change, employers operating in multiple states must navigate a complex landscape. Regularly review policies and procedures and consider these additional steps to support your team:


  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): Expand EAPs to include counseling services and emotional support, providing confidential resources and professional assistance to help employees navigate personal and emotional challenges.

  • Confidentiality and Privacy: Emphasize and reinforce confidentiality and privacy regarding employees' personal health decisions. Implement strict data protection policies to ensure sensitive information is handled appropriately.

  • Create a Supportive Environment: Train managers to support their teams effectively, fostering a safe space for respectful conversations and offering resources to help employees understand their rights and options in the post-Roe v. Wade landscape.


By staying proactive and responsive to these changes, nonprofits can better support their employees and navigate the challenges presented by the evolving legal environment.


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

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