The conservative majority Supreme Court on Friday ended constitutional protections for abortion. Numerous companies, however, had previously pledged to support employees who must travel to get an abortion and more companies are announcing steps to counter abortion restrictions.
Companies first began to announce these measures when a draft of an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito overruling Roe v. Wade was leaked to Politico in May.
States could still allow abortions but about half would ban them.
Some companies had already been making changes to their benefits in response to restrictions imposed on the state level as legislators whittled away at a right to abortion. These include limiting who can perform an abortion, how late into a pregnancy one can be done and whether state funds could be used to pay for them.
We're making it easier for you to find stories that matter with our new newsletter — The 4Front. Sign up here and get news that is important for you to your inbox.
Uber and Lyft, the country's two largest ride-hailing services, have said they will pay the legal fees for drivers who could get sued under Texas law passed last year for transporting a passenger to an appointment for an abortion.
Some companies have remained silent over the issue, a potentially tricky one to navigate. Some Republican politicians have shown a willingness to retaliate when companies cross them on such social issues. On the other hand, the assistance could help employers retain workers in states that ban or restrict abortions.
Here are some details on the corporate response:
Amazon.com Inc. will pay up to $4,000 in travel expenses for abortions and other non-life threatening medical procedures. The benefit applies if the medical care is not available within 100 miles of an employee’s home, Reuters reported. Among other procedures covered: cardiology, cellular gene therapies and substance-abuse disorder programs. The benefit is retroactive to Jan. 1. For life-threatening medical problems, Amazon offers to $10,000 in travel reimbursements.
The maker of the iPhone said its health insurance provider will cover travel and medical costs of employees who want to get an abortion. Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook announced the benefit in September 2021 after the Texas anti-abortion law went into effect. That law says that except for medical emergencies, doctors may not perform an abortion if they have “detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child" though what constitutes a heartbeat is a matter of debate. It can be enforced by ordinary citizens filing lawsuits against anyone who aids an abortion. Cook spoke during a meeting for all of the tech giant's 160,000 employees across the world, a recording of which The New York Times obtained.
Bumble and Match
The dating app Bumble, which is based in Austin, created a relief fund for people seeking an abortion in the state. “Bumble is women-founded and women-led, and from day one we’ve stood up for the most vulnerable. We’ll keep fighting against regressive laws like #SB8,” the company tweeted, referring to the Texas anti-abortion law.
The Match CEO, Shar Dubey told employees that she would personally create a fund to support Texas-based workers who had to leave the state for care, a spokesperson confirmed to CNBC. Match also owns Hinge, Tinder, and OKCupid.
Citigroup also will cover costs for its employees in states such as Texas who would have to travel to another state for an abortion. It has about 200,000 employees, 8,500 of whom live in Texas. It would pay for airfare and lodging.
Comcast offers a travel benefit to employees for all covered medical services and procedures that are not available near the employee's home.
Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News and NBCUniversal Local.
Dick's Sporting Goods
Dick's Sporting Goods CEO, Lauren Hobart, announced up to $4,000 in reimbursement for employees who have to travel to another state to obtain a legal abortion, NBC News reports.
"While we do not know what decision each state will make in response to this ruling, we at DICK’S Sporting Goods are prepared to ensure that all of our teammates have consistent and safe access to the benefits we provide, regardless of the state in which they live," Hobart said in a statement.
Disney told its employees in an internal memo obtained by CNBC that it would cover expenses for employees who have to travel to another state for an abortion.
“Our company remains committed to removing barriers and providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live,” Paul Richardson, chief human resources officer, and Pascale Thomas, vice president of enterprise benefits and well-being, said in the memo.
JPMorgan Chase also offered to cover travel expenses for "all covered health care services that can only be obtained far from your home," including abortion, said a company memo obtained by CNBC.
Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, said it would reimburse employees for expenses related to traveling out of state for an abortion.
"We intend to offer travel expense reimbursements, to the extent permitted by law, for employees who will need them to access out-of-state health care and reproductive services. We are in the process of assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved," said Meta spokesperson Andy Stone via email.
Microsoft will add travel expenses to its abortion and gender affirming benefits for employees in the United States. “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 company said in a statement to Reuters.
Salesforce told its employees last year that it would help relocate anyone concerned about getting reproductive care. The move followed Texas's adoption of its aggressive anti-abortion law.
Starbucks will pay travel expenses for U.S. employees to get abortion or gender-confirmation procedures if those services aren't available within 100 miles of a worker’s home. The benefit will also be available to dependents of employees enrolled in its health care coverage.
A spokesperson for WarnerBros Discovery told NBC News the company is "committed to offering our employees across the country access to consistent and comprehensive healthcare services," adding that, "in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision, we immediately expanded our healthcare benefits options to cover transportation expenses for employees and their covered family members who need to travel to access abortion and reproductive care.”
Yelp was among the first to say it would cover costs for employees seeking out-of-state abortions. It wants to make sure that all of its employees have equal access to health care, the company said. The benefit will cover all of its 4,000 employees, including 200 workers in Texas. “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," Miriam Warren, Yelp's chief diversity officer, told The Associated Press.