The Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Some companies offer their employees the ability to find reproductive care outside of their home states, which may be impacted the court’s ruling.
Starbucks is one of the latest employers offering to reimburse their employees for travel costs when workers seek reproductive care in other states, including abortion and gender-affirming procedures. The benefit is available to any employee who cannot access these services within 100 miles of where they live, and also applies to the workers’ dependents.
Several other companies, including Tesla, Citigroup, Yelp, Lyft, Levi Strauss, and Amazon, have also announced that they would cover travel expenses for workers with limited access to safe abortion procedures in their home states.
And banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Bank of America Corp.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
and Citigroup Inc
have all extended their travel benefits to employees seeking abortions in other states after the SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
In June, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill that would make doctors who perform abortions subject to prison terms of one to 10 years, which would take effect when and if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The Louisiana bill has no exceptions for rape or incest victims.
In May, a leaked draft opinion revealed that the Supreme Court may look to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion in 1973. The court is expected to release its decision later in June. And this has spurred questions about what happens next, including which states would “trigger” a ban on abortion if the ruling is overturned.
In fact, “Can you travel to another state for an abortion?” was a breakout Google search in the day following the leaked Roe v. Wade draft opinion, which means the search term spiked by more than 5,000%.
And roughly one in three voters (31%) said that an abortion ban would make a state a “less desirable” place to live, according to a new Suffolk University and USA Today poll.
But some Republicans have called out companies for reimbursing workers who travel for reproductive care, like abortion. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) recently proposed legislation that would prohibit employers from deducting expenses related to their employees’ abortion travel costs, or gender-affirming care for young children of their employees.
These are some of the companies that have said they will cover travel costs for their employees seeking abortions, and how much some of them will reimburse.
Prior to the Supreme Court leak, Amazon
told staff that the company will cover travel expenses for all non-life-threatening medical treatments, including abortions. The e-commerce giant, which is the second-largest private employer in the U.S. behind Walmart
said it will reimburse up to $4,000 per year for such expenses.
The new benefit is effective retroactively to Jan. 1, and applies when the procedure is unavailable within 100 miles of the employee’s home, and virtual care is not possible. It is open to U.S. employees (including warehouse and office workers) or covered dependents enrolled in Premera or Aetna health plans.
also began covering travel expenses earlier this year for U.S. employees forced to go out of state for abortions. About 8,500 of the banking giant’s 65,000 U.S. employees are in Texas, which has banned abortions in the state after about six weeks of pregnancy.
“In response to changes in reproductive health care laws in certain states in the U.S., beginning in 2022 we provide travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources,” the company said in an April filing.
also said that it will begin covering travel expenses for abortion procedures after the Supreme Court document was leaked.
“It’s paramount that all DoorDash employees and their dependents covered on our health plans have access to safe, timely healthcare. This is one of our guiding principles as an employer,” a DoorDash spokesperson told MarketWatch. “Because safe abortion procedures may become severely limited in more states, DoorDash will cover certain travel-related expenses for employees who face new barriers to access and need to travel out of state for abortion-related care.”
Google parent company Alphabet
said that it offers travel cost coverage for employees who seek abortions out of state, a company spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. The coverage, which Google began offering within the past year, applies to only full-time employees.
Clothing-maker Levi Strauss
announced in May that the company will also cover travel costs for medical procedures that cannot be performed in the state their employees live in, which includes abortion.
The company says employees are “eligible for reimbursement for healthcare-related travel expenses for services not available in their home state, including those related to reproductive health care and abortion.”
Levi Strauss also noted that its employees are particularly impacted by the issue of reproductive rights, as 58% of the company’s global workforce is female. “Given what is at stake, business leaders need to make their voices heard and act to protect the health and well-being of our employees,” the company added in its announcement. “That means protecting reproductive rights.”
According to a Mastercard
company memo seen by Reuters, the financial services company will cover costs associated with travel and lodging for employees seeking abortions in states they don’t live in.
Such coverage includes “family planning and reproductive benefits, from fertility treatments to surrogacy and adoption services, pregnancy prevention including vasectomy coverage and access to contraception and pregnancy termination,” a Mastercard spokesperson told Bloomberg.
Microsoft said it will “continue to do everything we can under the law to protect our employees’ rights and support employees” in accessing critical healthcare. Those protections include services like abortion and gender-affirming care in the U.S., a Microsoft official told Reuters.
“This support is being extended to include travel expense assistance for these and other medical services where access to care is limited in availability in an employee’s home geographic region,” the statement continued.
Financial services company PayPal
announced in May it would “support” employees who are impacted by abortion-related bans or restrictions depending on the state they live in.
“We communicated directly with Texas employees about our commitment to providing equitable health care benefits,” Kausik Rajgopal, the executive vice president at PayPal, told employees in a May 9 memo viewed by CBS News.
PayPal will “extend this support to any state where legislation following the court’s decision leads to diminished healthcare access with respect to reproductive health,” Rajgopal said.
added a worker healthcare benefit that offers to reimburse the travel cost for employees enrolled in its program who seek an abortion or gender-affirming procedure, but who cannot access these services within 100 miles of where they live. This also applies to the workers’ dependents.
“Regardless of what the Supreme Court ends up deciding, we will always ensure our partners have access to quality healthcare,” wrote Sara Kelly, acting executive vice president of partner resources, in a letter posted to the Starbucks site. “Whatever healthcare choice you believe is right for you and your family, you deserve access to those services and the benefits that Starbucks provides.”
The “People and Culture” portion of Tesla’s newly released 2021 Impact Report noted that the company wants its benefits to exceed the standards of the manufacturing industry. And that includes an expanded “Safety Net” program and health insurance offering that covers travel and lodging support for Tesla employees “who may need to seek healthcare services that are unavailable in their home state.”
While CEO Elon Musk did not immediately comment, he tweeted in September that he believes “government should rarely impose its will upon the people, and, when doing so, should aspire to maximize their cumulative happiness. That said, I would prefer to stay out of politics.”
the crowd-sourced reviews platform, will cover travel expenses for both employees and their dependents who need to go out-of-state for abortions. Yelp has 4,000 employees, including 200 workers in Texas.
Yelp employees can submit the receipts for their travel expenses directly to their health insurance company, so “no one else at Yelp is ever going to know who is accessing this, or how or when, and it will be a reimbursement that comes through the insurance provider directly,” Yelp’s chief diversity officer, Miriam Warren, said in April.
“We’ve long been a strong advocate for equality in the workplace, and believe that gender equality cannot be achieved if women’s healthcare rights are restricted,” Warren also said in a statement at the time.
Other ways companies are supporting abortion access
Ride-sharing service Lyft
announced in April that it will pay any legal fees for its drivers if they are sued for bringing women to clinics to receive abortions, which came as a result of the strict anti-abortion bills in Oklahoma and Texas. The Oklahoma bill, for example, would allow a person to sue another individual who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion.”
“This law is incompatible with people’s basic rights to privacy, our community guidelines, the spirit of rideshare, and our values as a company,” Lyft wrote in a blog post.
Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of competitor Uber
tweeted that his company would support its drivers in the same way.
In 2021, Texas-based dating-app company Bumble, which prides itself on being women-founded and women-led, created a relief fund supporting the reproductive rights of women and people across the gender spectrum who seek abortions in the state.
CEO Marc Benioff also said in 2021 that the company would cover relocation costs for its Texas employees impacted by the state’s restrictive abortion laws.
“If you have concerns about access to reproductive healthcare in your state, Salesforce will help relocate you and members of your immediate family,” a Salesforce company memo stated.