On Friday, Disney promised to fund travel expenses for any employee seeking an abortion in an internal memo to all of its United States Cast Members.
This isn’t the first instance of The Walt Disney Company supporting abortion access. In 2019, former CEO Bob Iger threatened to pull filming out of Georgia when a strict abortion law was introduced.
Disney’s decision is significant given that thousands of Walt Disney Company employees live and work in Florida at Walt Disney World Resort. Florida does not have a trigger law, so abortion until viability is still legal in the state. According to Politico, a 15-week ban is scheduled to take effect on July 1.
On Saturday, a Walt Disney World Resort Cast Member spoke to the New York Post about Disney’s announcement. Jose Castillo is a Republican running for Congress in Florida’s 9th District and has worked in Disney Resort management for over a decade.
Castillo accused Disney of once again diving into politics after the controversy with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.
“Disney knew full well that this memo would be leaked and make national news,” Castillo said. “They sent it anyway because Disney wants to make a political statement and attempt, once more, to influence our country’s political process.”
Castillo also said that the decision will “inevitably alienate potential customers.”
“As we have seen in recent months, Disney’s political activism has hurt the company financially, and it is my belief that the Board of Directors is violating its fiduciary duty to shareholders by continuing to comment on divisive political matters,” Castillo said.
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a landmark decision on Friday. According to the Associated Press, the decision to allow states to make their own abortion laws will effectively ban abortion in about half the states.
AP reports that most Americans support Roe v. Wade, according to polls taken after the draft opinion overturning Roe leaked in February. The leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft was historic and unprecedented.
Joining Justice Alito are Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Former President Donald Trump appointed conservative Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan dissented.
What do you think of Disney’s decision to cover abortion care and travel expenses for all its employees?