Beauty brands pledge to protect staff from Roe v Wade overturning

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 28-Jun-2022

Brands including LVMH, Unilever and Benefit Cosmetics have stated they will cover travel and lodging costs for women seeking reproductive services

Johnson & Johnson, Unilever and LVMH are among the growing list of beauty companies reaffirming their commitment to support women seeking abortions in the US.

It comes after America’s bedrock abortion law, Roe v Wade, was overturned on 24 June, which mean US states now have the freedom to create their own abortion laws.

A number of brands have reissued statements clarifying their intent to cover travel and lodging costs for women seeking reproductive services, as well as out-of-state health care.

LVMH – which owns Fenty, Ole Henriksen and Sephora – stated that the health and safety of its employees will always be its “number one priority”, in response to the Supreme Court’s decision.

“LVMH and our Maisons remain committed to providing equitable access to high-quality and affordable health care resources for all employees and their families, regardless of where they live in the United States,” the brand said in a post on LinkedIn.

“This includes expenses associated with travel to a different state for health care services.”

Benefit Cosmetics, which is also owned by LVMH, reiterated its commitment to supporting staff members in the wake of Roe v Wade’s overturning.

It originally spoke out against the drafted ruling following its leak in May.

“Many of our US employees reside in states that will be directly impacted by this ruling and risk losing access to reproductive health care,” the brand posted on Instagram.

“We will cover travel expenses for any Benefit employee who needs access to safe health care options, when and where their reproductive rights are challenged.”

Unilever confirmed on 28 June that it will provide employees with “comprehensive reproductive health care benefits”.

This covers travel costs for US staff, as well as dependents, if care is no longer available in their home states.

Tatcha, owned by Unilever, reaffirmed its support for female employees.

The skin care brand said the move to overturn Roe v Wade was a “monumental setback for women's rights and reproductive rights”.

“Tatcha is committed to providing our employees with comprehensive reproductive health care benefits, no matter where they live,” the brand stated in an Instagram post.

“As part of our health care benefits that give access to reproductive health, Tatcha will ensure travel costs are covered for US employees if reproductive health care is no longer available in their home state.”

Aesop, owned by Natura and Co, has said it will provide “immediate financial and travel support” for staff who can no longer access health care where they live.

It also plans to donate US$50,000 to the MSI Reproductive Choices and Center for Reproductive Rights charities.

Hair care brand Amika, meanwhile, said its policy offers paid leave and additional support for any employee who experiences a loss of pregnancy, including abortion.

The brand will also reimburse travel and lodging expenses for those who need to travel to another state for health care services.

Skin care company Glossier, additionally, stated it would support impacted employees through time-off policies, as well making use of an emergency aid fund launched at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to amending healthcare plans for employees, several cosmetics industry players have shown solidarity for women by joining the Don't Ban Equality coalition.

Unilever is one of the latest companies to sign up, and joins beauty and wellness brands which already feature on the list including e.l.f. Beauty, The Body Shop and goop.

The coalition works to promote people’s access to quality health care, independence and ability to fully succeed in their jobs.

The Supreme Court implemented the decision to overthrow Roe v Wade – a 50-year-old case which gave women in America the constitutional right to have an abortion – on 24 June.

The decision has been met with widespread protests over reproductive rights and the risk that the ruling will result in women turning to unsafe methods of abortion.

The industry previously rallied around the pro-choice movement in America back when the US Supreme Court’s draft decision to overthrow Roe v Wade was leaked in May 2022.

It also showed its support in September 2021, after Texas state passed the Texas Heartbeat Act, known as SB8 or Senate Bill 8, banning abortion once a foetal heartbeat is detectable.

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