WGA Health Plan Adds Amendment Covering Travel & Accommodations for Participants Seeking Abortions

The Writers Guild of America East and West’s health plan has a new amendment that will reimburse travel and accommodation expenses for participants and dependents seeking to cross state lines for abortions.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the WGA East wrote in an email to health plan participants on Monday: “If a participant lives in a state where abortion remains legal but works in a state which has prohibited abortion after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, they can choose between going home for the procedure or going to the state closest to their job where abortion remains lawful.”

Besides health plan participants, the new benefit also covers dependent spouses and, in the event of a medical emergency, children.

The move follows a similar change made by the Directors Guild of America in the wake of the Dobbs ruling, with the Directors Guild Foundation approving a new policy that offers financial aid to union members traveling to another state for an abortion.

Just last week, 400-plus TV creatives signed an open letter calling on media companies to enact specific protective measures for pregnant employees in states where abortion has been criminalized. Addressing the likes of Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, and Apple, the signatories — including Shonda Rhimes, Mindy Kaling, Ava DuVernay, Natasha Lyonne, and Desiree Akhavan — wrote that “many of us would not have the careers and families we have today if we had not been granted the freedom to choose what was best for ourselves. We are committed, as a group, to protecting our fundamental human rights and those of our colleagues.” They have demanded a review of the companies’ abortion safety plans within 10 days of the letter’s July 28 delivery.

Another of the letter’s signatories, “P-Valley” showrunner Katori Hall, recently wrote a guest column for THR calling for more stories about abortion.

Nearly 600 male showrunners have since signed their own letter in support of the original’s demands. “We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with our female, trans, [and] non-binary showrunner colleagues,” they wrote, “in demanding a coordinated and timely response from our employers regarding the imminent workplace-safety crisis created by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Abortion access doesn’t only affect people who can become pregnant. It affects us all.”

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