Update: On June 24, 2022, the US Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, writing that “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.” This article has been updated to reflect that decision.
Americans are bracing for sweeping changes to reproductive rights laws now that the US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade.
In 1973, the Roe v. Wade ruling held that a person’s right to an abortion was protected by the US Constitution. Now that the precedent has been overturned, all issues related to abortion access will automatically fall under state law. Several states are expected to enact bans, meaning anyone seeking an abortion in those states will instead have to find the time and money to travel to a state where the practice remains legal.
Given the enormous economic and emotional costs of denying abortions, companies will face increased pressure to live up to their commitments to support women and all genders. Those that do may also face legal challenges.
Here’s a look at the companies that have recently added abortion benefits to their healthcare coverage or confirmed that existing plans will pay for any necessary travel to access abortion. Some companies had already begun to cover travel for abortion before this year, seeing an increase in state-level restrictions on the procedure. Others introduced the benefit in response to a leaked draft of the Roe v. Wade opinion published by Politico in May.
On May 2, Reuters reported that Amazon had added an employee benefit that would cover up to $4,000 in expenses for traveling out of state for healthcare, whether for reproductive rights or other medical issues. (The news came just days after Amazon also told frontline workers that they were no longer eligible for paid sick leave if they tested positive for covid. The new policy offers up to five days of unpaid, excused leave.)
Last September, Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees that the company’s medical insurance plan would cover the costs of abortion treatment and any related travel for Texas retail employees affected by the state’s “Texas Heartbeat Act,” which banned abortions after only six weeks.
Variety reports that Comcast’s employee health plan will reimburse travel for abortion and other medical procedures.
The major bank recently announced that its health insurance plan would pick up the expenses for employees who need to travel for an abortion, despite potential legal risks. Bloomberg reports that the benefit would cover airfare and accommodations when needed.
Dick’s Sporting Goods
The retailer known for taking a stand on gun sales three years ago responded to the Roe v. Wade news by announcing on LinkedIn that it will reimburse employees for up to $4,000 if they need to leave their home state to find a legal abortion. “We recognize people feel passionately about this topic—and that there are teammates and athletes who will not agree with this decision,” Ed Stack, executive chair, said in a statement. “However, we also recognize that decisions involving health and families are deeply personal and made with thoughtful consideration.”
For Disney workers, costs related to “family planning” including “pregnancy decisions” that lead to out-of-state travel will be covered by the company, writes the Washington Post. The benefit, detailed by Disney following the Supreme Court decision, will cover employees, cast members, and their families.
The IT-focused, Texas-headquartered subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard told Wired that its medical plan covers medical treatments received outside of Texas, including abortions.
On June 1, the US bank responded to employee concerns about abortion access by confirming that its healthcare benefits have historically paid for medical treatments that require travel, according to CNBC. In the Q&A section of a memo to employees, JPMorgan said: “Beginning in July, we will expand this benefit to include all covered services that can only be obtained far from your home, which would include legal abortion.”
The iconic American clothing company announced that any abortion-related service and travel fees its employees incur will be covered by the company’s health insurance plan.
Last year, Match Group CEO Shar Dubey set up a fund employees can draw from to pay for the cost of traveling for abortion access. Match also owns Tinder, Plenty of Fish, and OKCupid.
“I’m speaking about this personally, as a mother and a woman who has fervently cared about women’s rights, including the very fundamental right of choice over her body,” Dubey told employees at the time.
Facebook’s parent company is working out the details of a benefit plan that would include out-of-state travel for an abortion, “to the extent permitted by law,” the New York Times reports.
Netflix said its healthcare coverage for US employees will include the costs of travel related to cancer treatment, transplants, abortion and gender-affirming medical care, according to Reuters.
Following the reversal of Roe v. Wade, media giant Paramount sent employees a memo confirming that employees are eligible for reimbursement should they need to leave their home state to find medical care, including birth control, miscarriage treatment, or an abortion.
The outdoor clothing company will not only cover the costs of travel for an abortion, it also pledged to bail out employees arrested for protesting against the Supreme Court decision, writes Bloomberg. Both full-time and part-time workers are eligible for the benefits.
Following the Roe v. Wade decision, a representative from Reddit told the New York Times that it has “robust policies to support women in the workplace,” and that employees can be reimbursed for travel related to medical treatment, including abortions.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff responded to the Texas Heartbeat Act last fall by saying the company would pick up the tab for any of its Texas-based employees who wanted to move out of the state entirely.
On May 16, Starbucks announced that it would pay the expenses for any of its US workers who need to travel for an abortion or gender-affirming procedure, provided the worker is enrolled in the company’s health insurance plan. The coffee giant has more than 240,000 employees in the US. The new benefit will cover costs for anyone who can not access reproductive or gender-affirming healthcare within 100 miles of where they live.
In May, Tesla published a 2021 Impact Report that said the company will cover expenses for out-of-state medical care when procedures are not available in an employee’s home state. The electric car company is based in Texas, where state lawmakers had already passed a ban on abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy.
The online reviews site said it would cover the costs of travel for workers in states where reproductive rights are limited. The benefit was adopted after Texas tightened its restrictions, but a spokesperson told The New York Times that it would apply to employees impacted by “current or future action that restricts access to covered reproductive health care.”
Home listing portal Zillow announced it would expand its benefit for travel related to medical treatments. Beginning June 1, the company paid up to $7,500 in travel expenses for staffers who have find a legal abortion or gender-affirming care outside their home state.
Other companies supporting abortion rights
Beyond extending employee benefits, other companies have announced policies to support people seeking abortions and the legal battle to uphold Roe v. Wade.
Uber and Lyft, the ride-hailing apps, said they would work with healthcare providers in Texas and Oklahoma to offer rides to clients seeking out-of-state reproductive healthcare. They have also pledged to pay the legal fees of any drivers fined for transporting a customer to an out-of-state abortion clinic in both states.
GoDaddy, the website hosting service, effectively kicked a Texas Right to Life whistleblowing site off its platform, and Bumble started a fund for Texan residents who needed assistance paying for an out-of-state abortion.