If the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling is overturned by the US Supreme Court, which is what the draft opinion that was leaked to news outlet Politico on May 2nd suggests, the person’s right to an abortion would no longer be protected by the US constitution. This means that issues related to abortion access will then fall under state law.
Should the ruling be overturned, around 26 states are expected to ban abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute. This means that anyone seeking an abortion in those states will have to find the resources and time to travel to a state where they could access abortions legally.
Denying access to safe and legal abortions puts extreme pressure both financially and emotionally on those seeking them, which is why many US companies are stepping up to support their employees in regions where reproductive health rights are revoked or severely limited.
Here’s a list of some of the companies that have already implemented supportive policies around women’s health, reproductive rights, and the health of all genders in the workplace.
As reported by Reuters, Amazon added an employee benefit that covers up to $4,000 in expenses for traveling out of state for reproductive healthcare or any other medical issue.
In response to the draconian “Texas Heartbeat Act” enacted in Texas, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced to employees last September that the company’s medical insurance plan would cover the costs of abortion treatment and any related travel for its Texas retail employees.
The bank’s insurance plan will now cover expenses (including airfare and accommodations) for employees who must travel for an abortion, despite potential legal risks.
According to Wired, the medical plan for employees working at the IT-focused Texas-headquartered subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard covers any medical treatments received outside of Texas, including but not limited to abortions.
This fashion company announced that any abortion-related service and travel fees they incur will be taken care of by the company’s health insurance plan.
Match (parent company of Tinder, Plenty of Fish, and OKCupid)
Match Group CEO Shar Dubey established a fund last year for employees to draw from should they have any traveling costs related to accessing safe and legal abortions.
“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 when the fund was first introduced.
In response to the Texas Heartbeat Act, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced to Texas-based employees that the company would cover the costs should any of them want to move out of the state entirely.
After Texas introduced the Texas Heartbeat Act, the online reviews site promised to cover the costs of travel for workers residing in states that restricted their reproductive rights. A spokesperson told The New York Times that this benefit would extend to employees impacted by “current or future action that restricts access to covered reproductive health care.”
Other companies supporting abortion rights
Extending health benefits is one way that US companies are rallying behind those whose rights to safe and legal healthcare have been or will be restricted, however, there are other strategies that companies are taking that go beyond covering costs.
Uber and Lyft will both work with healthcare providers in Texas and Oklahoma to offer rides to clients in need of out-of-state reproductive healthcare. They will also pay the legal fees of the drivers from both states who are fined for transporting a customer to an out-of-state abortion clinic.
The website hosting service GoDaddy removed a Texas Right to Life whistleblowing site from its platform and Bumble has a fund for Texan residents in need of financial assistance to cover the cost of an out-of-state abortion.