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BlackRock joins Wall Street firms in covering employees' abortion travel costs: Internal memo

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BlackRock (BLK), the world’s largest asset manager, is set to expand its health care plan to cover travel expenses for U.S. employees seeking abortion services, per an internal memo obtained exclusively by Yahoo Finance.

The company joins a growing docket of firms on Wall Street making similar commitments following Friday's Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“Through company-sponsored health insurance, we have long provided reproductive health care services, including coverage for birth control and abortion or miscarriage care,” BlackRock Global Head of Human resources Manish Mehta wrote in an email to staff seen by Yahoo Finance Monday evening.

“Effective July 1, our health plan will reimburse for necessary travel expenses incurred for reproductive services, as we do for other specialized care, such as transplants, cancer treatment, and joint replacement.”

Earlier on Monday, Jefferies Financial Group (JEF) and Wells Fargo (WFC) also each said in communications to staff internally they will cover travel expenses for employees seeking an abortion outside of states that have banned or restricted the procedure.

"Jefferies will, of course, join other businesses around the U.S. that will cover any employee-partner’s costs should she decide to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy and be forced to do so in a state other than the one in which she lives,” Chief Executive Officer Rich Handler and President Brian Friedman said in a statement.

Additionally, Handler and Friedman vowed to personally donate a combined $1 million to charities that "champion women's rights."

Wells Fargo said specifically that it will expand its travel benefit to include “reimbursement of transportation and lodging costs for legal abortion-related services” starting July 1.

JPMorgan (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) last week announced similar measures in the aftermath of Friday's decision.

"We have extended our healthcare travel reimbursement policies to include all medical procedures, treatments and evaluations, including abortion services and gender-affirming care where a provider is not available in proximity to where our people live," Goldman Sachs wrote in the note to staff obtained by Yahoo Finance Friday.

Earlier this year, Citigroup (C) became the first major bank to cover travel expenses for workers who go out of state for abortions following restrictions in Texas — a move that CEO Jane Fraser later clarified at the company's annual shareholder meeting was part of a "longstanding policy" and not intended to be "a statement about a very sensitive issue."

A growing docket of companies have newly announced or reiterated their support for employees that may need abortion services in response to Friday's ruling. Yahoo Finance is tracking the responses here.

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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