WE to cover travel expenses related to reproductive healthcare and abortion

“We will expand that benefit as needed following the final Supreme Court decision,” said global CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

BELLEVUE, WA: WE is expanding its health benefits, resources and programs for employees in response to the U.S. Supreme Court indicating Roe v. Wade may be overturned soon.

In a blog post late Monday, WE founder and global CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin said her agency has already committed to reimbursement of travel expenses related to reproductive healthcare and abortion for those who need to seek care outside the state in which they reside.

“We will expand that benefit as needed following the final Supreme Court decision,” she wrote. “We also provide resources and programs, including paid time off and employee assistance, so you can care for yourself and for your loved ones in times of need.”

Employees can also use their 24 Community Engagement hours to make their voices heard as they choose on this matter, she said.

WE, Zorkin noted, believes in and offers equal access to safe healthcare for everyone.

Zorkin went into detail on her personal opinion of the country-wide right to an abortion potentially being eliminated.

“I am personally angry about the likely impacts to women’s human rights and reproductive health,” she wrote, adding that if some people at WE disagree with her, she “respects” them and the fact that they “have a different perspective.”

Asked how WE is counseling clients on this matter, Zorkin told PRWeek in an emailed statement that the agency aims to “guide and support our clients in sharing their purpose and advancing their reputation in a way that is meaningful for their businesses and society at large.”

She explained that WE works with clients individually to help them engage on issues that matter to them and their audiences in a way that is impactful and authentic. 

“While that might look different for each client, it is our commitment that our communications efforts and campaigns build reputation, drive real business results – and even inspire bedrock change,” she said.

Longtime WE client Microsoft this week said it is also helping to cover U.S. staffers’ travel costs for abortion. A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters that the company will "continue to do everything we can under the law to protect our employees' rights and support employees" in accessing critical healthcare, which includes services such as abortion and gender-affirming care, in the U.S. 

Holding companies Interpublic Group, Publicis Groupe and WPP have also committed to funding travel for women in the country seeking abortion access. Bully Pulpit Interactive, BerlinRosen and Bospar are doing the same.

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