The U.S. Supreme Court plans to abolish the nationwide right to abortion after nearly 50 years, it was leaked early this month. It sparked a wave of dismay across the country among the many opponents. Demonstrations were also held in the Netherlands, among others, in solidarity with American women.
It soon became clear what consequences that decision could have. The conservative state of Oklahoma immediately introduced a law that prohibits abortion from about six weeks of pregnancy. There is a good chance that more Americans will introduce such a strict deadline. Nonprofit Guttmacher expects 26 out of 50 US states to ban abortion if the Supreme Court decides to abolish it.
Major employers in action
They are already taking action at a growing number of American companies. To prevent employees from being faced with dilemmas, they promise to help their staff. “If you’re concerned about accessing critical health care in your state, Salesforce will provide financial support for travel, available through our health care providers, and/or help you and your immediate family relocate,” Salesforce chief executive Brent Hyder wrote to employees, reports CNBC.
Previously, major employers such as Amazon, Apple, Citigroup, Levi’s, Tesla and Yelp announced that they want to reimburse travel expenses for employees who live and work in states with restrictive abortion laws. For example, in order to keep this confidential and private within the often public companies, they choose to refer to the cost of such benefits as an ’employee welfare benefit’ in their financial reporting.
‘Bad for the economy’
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a ban on abortion would also harm the economy. According to Yellen, the right to abortion has allowed more women to work and complete school, which in turn has led to higher salaries for women.
Abortion law in the Netherlands
An abortion is allowed in the Netherlands up to the 24th week of pregnancy. In practice, doctors assume 22 weeks, because they can accurately determine the duration of the pregnancy up to two weeks. After that, an abortion can only be performed for very serious medical reasons.
At the moment there is still a mandatory reflection period, but there is a very good chance that this will be abolished soon. A majority in the House of Representatives supported the bill in which this mandatory reflection period is thrown into the trash.
Pregnancy can be terminated with the abortion pill or with surgery. At the moment only abortion clinics are allowed to give an abortion pill, but some GPs want to be able to do that themselves.
If it is up to the House of Representatives, that will happen soon. A majority recently supported a bill that allows this. It is the second change in abortion rules in a short time.