The Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade and rolled back the right to abortion in several states.
As a PEO that provides access to health insurance for many small businesses and their teams, Justworks and our customers are directly impacted by this outcome. While we don't often share internal communications, in this case, it felt important to let people outside our company understand how we're thinking about this decision and its implications.
Below is a message from our CEO, Isaac Oates. In addition, we have donated $100,000, divided equally among the following organizations: National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, Sister Song: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice, and The National LGBTQ Task Force.
I know that many of us were shocked and disappointed when the final Dobbs decision came out this past Friday, as well as earlier in May when the draft decision was first leaked. Beyond the significant implications for civil rights, this decision will lead to the deterioration of women’s health in the United States, especially those who are already members of disadvantaged communities. While I wish the Supreme Court had made a different decision, it is more useful to confront the reality that we find ourselves in.
You may be wondering if and when Justworks will make a public statement about the decision, or why we would choose not to when we have made statements about a number of other issues over the past few years.
We are focused on the decision’s implications for our customers and our employees. To put it bluntly, the world doesn’t need another tech CEO weighing in on a Supreme Court decision; what it needs is action. The rest of this note will focus on what Justworks is doing, and we have posted a copy on our blog so that those outside the company have access to it.
Access to healthcare is an essential part of what Justworks does. It’s part of our identity. We make it easier for hundreds of thousands of small business employees, and their families, to access good quality medical care. We also help them navigate the health system by including access to HealthAdvocate and by picking up the phone when employees call. By doing this, we help people lead healthier lives. We empower people to make choices that are right for them.
The Dobbs decision will do the opposite: It will result in the deterioration of women’s health and their right to self-determination in the United States.
For example, every day, pregnant people go to emergency rooms and clinics across the country with conditions where an abortion may be the only way to save their life. When laws limit the means that a doctor can use to treat their patient, the patient suffers. In addition, when pregnant people are forced to seek abortions illegally, complications can arise that result in injury or death. When Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, abortion mortality in the U.S. decreased to nearly zero; as access to legal abortions is curtailed following Dobbs, mortality will rise again.
The most privileged members of society are often able to work around the system and find the care that they need; members of disadvantaged communities often can’t and will bear disproportionate consequences.
So, what can we do? The truth is that we don’t know just yet, except that we must do the best that we can to mitigate the effects of Dobbs on the health of pregnant people on our platform. We are in active discussions with our insurance carrier partners. We are also actively exploring other options for helping those on our platform access the care they need, including coverage for abortion services regardless of where they live including the ability to (and reimbursement for) travel to receive those services if necessary. Time is of the essence and I am asking those on our team who are already working on this to move as quickly as they can.
While many of our employees are located in the New York City area, we’ve already announced that we’re developing a medical travel policy to support our employees who live in areas where abortion care may be limited moving forward.
You can expect to hear more from me or other leaders in the coming weeks and months as the situation stabilizes, we have clearer information from our partners, and we develop workable solutions for our people. They’re counting on us and I know we’ll do our best.