When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, it also changed the landscape of healthcare for women around the country. Many states have trigger laws to effectively ban abortion immediately or in the coming weeks. Most of these fall in the midwest or the southern United States. This means that women living in these areas will need to immediately begin traveling out of state, and at times quite far, in order to receive an abortion. It's expected that, eventually, nearly half of the women in the United States will live in an area where abortions are illegal or severely restricted. Luckily, many private companies are stepping up to make it easier for their employees to get the specialized care they need.
For many, the cost of an abortion is already a stretch, and adding travel costs puts the procedure out of reach. In late May, when an early draft of the Roe v. Wade decision was leaked, some companies started putting policies in place to relieve this economic burden. Many others have started stepping up once the Supreme Court's decision became final and abortion access was left in the hands of individual states.
“This ruling puts women's health in jeopardy, denies them their human rights, and threatens to dismantle the progress we've made toward gender equality in the workplaces since Roe,” says Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder of Yelp. “Business leaders must step up to support the health and safety of their employees by speaking out against the wave of abortion bans that will be triggered as a result of this decision, and call on Congress to codify Roe into law.”
Here is a sampling of some companies that are stepping up to ensure that women have access to reproductive healthcare without having additional economic stress. Many of these companies also extend benefits to dependents and spouses, as well as a support person.
Here are some of the private companies that are stepping up to ensure all women have access to reproductive care.
U.S. employees of Amazon who are enrolled in their healthcare plan will have access to up to $4,000 for travel expenses related to medical procedures, including abortion. The policy is available to anyone who has to travel more than 100 miles to receive medical treatment and when virtual treatment is not available. The policy covers employees in the corporate office as well as Amazon warehouse workers.
After the Roe draft decision was leaked in May, the tech company extended its financial support for critical healthcare to include travel expenses. Under Microsoft's policy, both abortion and gender-confirming procedures are covered.
In mid-May, the coffee giant released a memo ensuring employees enrolled in its healthcare plan that they would be assisted in getting access to healthcare. This memo was updated on June 24 to plainly state that “no matter where you live, or what you believe, we will always ensure you have access to quality healthcare.” Their travel benefit for abortions, which will soon extend to gender-affirming care, is available to employees and their dependents who cannot legally access medical care in their state and need to travel more than 100 miles. (It should be noted that there is one exception to this healthcare plan, as stated in their letter: “In stores represented by a union, federal law requires good faith collective bargaining over all wages, benefits and working conditions. That means Starbucks cannot make promises or guarantees about any benefits.”)
Dick's Sporting Goods
Just hours after the Supreme Court published its decision, the CEO of Dick's announced that they would provide a $4,000 travel reimbursement for employees who need to go out of state to seek abortions. The reimbursement is available to employees enrolled in the company's healthcare plan, as well as spouses and dependents, along with a support person.
— DICK'S Sporting Goods (@DICKS) June 24, 2022
In early May the denim company announced that health-related travel expenses were already covered as part of their benefits package. However, it also stated that part-time employees and others not on the benefits plan can also seek reimbursement in such instances.
With today’s Supreme Court ruling, we want to reiterate our commitment to supporting reproductive rights. https://t.co/w696cN9Fc9 pic.twitter.com/sLPvqbgG0D
— Levi Strauss & Co. (@LeviStraussCo) June 24, 2022
The yogurt company has amended its healthcare policy to cover travel and lodging, as well as childcare, when its employees must travel to receive medical care.
Businesses have an obligation to prioritize their employees’ health, safety & well-being. That's why @Chobani amended its health plans to support our employees’ ability to access specialized healthcare not available locally – including women’s reproductive health services.
— Hamdi Ulukaya (@hamdiulukaya) May 12, 2022
While Uber's healthcare policies already included abortion care and a reimbursement for travel, they have updated their policy to guarantee financial support for any driver sued under state law for providing transportation to clinics.
The company's current healthcare plan pays for women living in states with restrictive abortion law to travel in order to receive reproductive care.
“Business leaders must step up to support the health and safety of their employees by speaking out against the wave of abortion bans that will be triggered as a result of this decision, and call on Congress to codify Roe into law.” – Yelp CEO, @jeremys https://t.co/wpqpg06fLr
— Yelp (@Yelp) June 24, 2022
While medical procedures like abortions have long been covered under the company's benefits package, JPMorgan Chase announced that, as of July, abortion will also be included as a procedure eligible for a travel reimbursement.
On June 24, Disney notified its employees that it remains “committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families.” This commitment extends to family planning and reproductive services, meaning that a travel benefit will be included when employees must go out of state for care.
The healthcare package for employees of Krogers includes a travel benefit of up to $4,000 for access to reproductive services.
After Texas enacted a strict ban on abortions after the six-week mark, Airbnb stepped up and said that it would “work to support those employees whose ability to make choices about their reproductive care may be impacted by the Texas law.” They will also give financial support to any Host in Texas who may face legal action in relation to Texas' abortion law. At the time, they noted that this policy “will extend to other US jurisdictions if similar such laws are enacted.”
According to Apple's current benefits package, travel for out-of-state medical procedures is covered when care is not available in the employee's home state.
The female-owned dating app Bumble stepped up in September 2021 after Texas' restrictive abortion law went into effect. At the time they launched a fund to help women living in the state access abortion services.
Starting today, Bumble has created a relief fund supporting the reproductive rights of women and people across the gender spectrum who seek abortions in Texas.
— Bumble (@bumble) September 1, 2021
The food delivery giant announced that it would cover select travel expenses related to abortion care when such services are not available in-state. This policy is available to employees enrolled in DoorDash's health plan, as well as their dependents.
Full-time U.S. employees have access to a $10,000 lifetime allowance for employees and their dependents who need to travel for health care. This includes anyone seeking an abortion or gender-confirming procedures.
While its health benefits already cover a wide range of procedures, including abortions and infertility treatments, Zillow has updated its benefits package to include a travel reimbursement. As of June 1, employees can request a reimbursement of up to $7,500 “each time significant travel is necessary to access health care, including reproductive services.”
This article has been edited and updated.
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