The health plan of Hollywood’s largest union, SAG-AFTRA, has announced it will reimburse out-of-state abortion travel and lodging expenses for plan participants and their dependents, pledging it will “provide access to safe abortion services regardless of where they live or work.”
SAG-AFTRA, which has an estimated 160,000 members, represents screen actors as well as many broadcast journalists and news professionals — though not all of them are qualified to participate in the health plan, which is among the most generous in the industry.
The union’s health plan made the announcement Friday, calling abortion “reproductive health care.”
— SAG-AFTRA NEWS (@sagaftranews) August 12, 2022
“All Americans should have equal access to critical, necessary, and often life-saving reproductive health care, wherever they live or work,” the statement said.
Under the new guidelines, if an actress lives in a state where abortion is legal but works in a state that prohibits abortion, she may choose between going home for the procedure or going to the state closest to their workplace where abortion is legal.
If the actress lives in a state where abortion is illegal, she can choose to have the procedure in the state closest to her where abortion is legal.
A more detailed document specifies that the plan will also cover performers’ “Dependent spouses” and “Dependent children” — though the latter will be reimbursed “in case of emergency abortion only.”
The announcement comes after the Supreme Court’s historic overturning of Roe v. Wade, which returns power to the states and their voters to determine the question of abortion for themselves.
Several Hollywood studios have already vowed to pay travel expenses for employees looking to get abortions. As Breitbart News reported, they include Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros. Discovery.
Many movies and TV shows shoot in Georgia and Louisiana, due to their lucrative tax incentives that studios are reluctant to give up. Both states have recently enacted abortion restrictions, with Louisiana making all abortions illegal in the state.
In Georgia, a federal judge recently ruled that the state’s fetal heartbeat law can take effect, which would outlaw abortion after six weeks.