More than a dozen American companies -- including Apple, Starbucks, JP Morgan Chase, BuzzFeed, and more -- are guaranteeing abortion benefits for their employees in the aftermath of the United States Supreme Court voting to overturn Roe v Wade.
On 24 June, the Supreme Court’s six conservative justices ruled in favour of a Mississippi law that outlaws abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy. The decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization has resulted in the overturning of key precedents established by the 1973 decision in Roe v Wade, as well as an affirming decision in 1992’s Planned Parenthood v Casey.
Since the initial draft opinion in Dobbs was leaked in May, a number of the nation’s largest companies have already committed to protecting their employees’ access to abortion.
Amazon, Levi Strauss & Co, Starbucks, and Microsoft announced last month that it would reimburse travel expenses for workers seeking an abortion who can’t access services in their home state.
E-commerce giant Amazon said it will pay up to $4,000 in travel expenses each year for non-life threatening medical treatments including abortions, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, clothing company Levi Strauss & Co announced it will add reimbursement for healthcare-related travel expenses to its current benefits plan. Microsoft also said it will extend its abortion and gender affirming care services for employees to include travel expense assistance.
Starbucks acting vice president Sara Kelly wrote in a statement last month that the coffee chain will provide employees “enrolled in Starbucks healthcare plan a medical travel reimbursement benefit to access an abortion,” with benefits for gender-affirming care to come later on.
Yelp announced in April that it would cover travel expenses for employees seeking out-of-state abortion care after Texas issued a wave of strict abortion restrictions last year. In March, Citigroup became the first major bank to provide abortion travel benefits “in response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states.”
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade on Friday morning, a number of companies joined the growing list of employers already providing abortion care services. JP Morgan Chase – the country’s largest bank with more than 200,000 US employees – told workers that it will pay for travel to states that allow legal abortions effective in July, according to a memo obtained by CNBC.
According to Buzzfeed News reporter David Mack, Buzzfeed has informed employees that it will also cover travel costs for abortion, although the outlet has yet to confirm.
A number of media companies – such as Disney, Netflix, Comcast, Sony, and Meta – also committed to funding travel expenses for out-of-state abortion services. On Friday, the Walt Disney Company informed employees that it will “remain committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care” for all employees and their families, a source told Variety.
A spokesperson for Meta – the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp – told Reuters today that it “intends to offer travel expense reimbursements” to the extent permitted by law, while Netflix has reportedly added travel reimbursement for abortions and gender-affirming care to its health care plan this summer. The company’s policy, which also covers cancer treatment and transplants, pays up to $10,000 per service for each employee.
Apple, Reddit, DoorDash, Airbnb, Tesla, Lyft, and Mastercard are also among the list of major US companies covering travel expenses for employees seeking abortion care services.
The Independent has contacted Buzzfeed News for comment.
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