Companies are starting to hand out employee benefits that support greater access to abortions.
Amazon on Monday told staff that it will pay up to $4,000 in company travel expenses annually to help pay for non-life threatening medical treatments including abortions, Reuters reported. This benefit applies to all U.S. employees enrolled in Premera or Aetna health plans and if a procedure is not available within 100 miles.
Amazon did not immediately return FN’s request for comment.
With the announcement, Amazon joins the ranks of Yelp, Levi Strauss & Co., and other companies that have recently announced benefits to help employees cover the cost of traveling to obtain an abortion, as certain rules limiting the procedure get signed into law across the U.S.
Most recently, the Supreme Court will likely vote to roll back certain abortion protocols in a ruling in a new case. This outcome was confirmed Monday night via a leaked initial draft majority opinion, reported by Politico. In the opinion, the Supreme Court voted to strike down Roe v. Wade, which has largely confirmed constitutional protections for abortions since 1973.
Before the Supreme Court news, Texas introduced a law in September banning abortions after close to six weeks of pregnancy. In the wake of this law, some companies introduced benefits to help Texas-based employees get access abortions. Yelp, which employs close to 200 employees in Texas, announced in April that it would reimburse travel for employees and spouses who must venture out of state to get an abortion.
“Overturning Roe v. Wade will jeopardize the human rights of millions of women who stand to lose the liberty to make decisions over their own bodies,” Yelp said in a statement. “This goes against the will of the vast majority of Americans who agree that decisions around reproductive care should be made by women and their doctors. Therefore Congress must codify these rights into law. In the meantime, more companies will need to step up to safeguard their employees, and provide equal access to the health services they need no matter where they live.”
Levi’s also offers abortion travel benefits to any employee who participates in their healthcare plans, while part-time hourly workers can get reimbursed.
“Under our current benefits plan, Levi Strauss & Co. employees are eligible for reimbursement for healthcare-related travel expenses for services not available in their home state, including those related to reproductive health care and abortion,” the company said in a statement.
This Supreme Court decision, which is not final until it is officially published, would effectively end federal constitutional protections for abortion and give each state the right to decide how to restrict abortions. As such, it remains to be seen how each state will choose to proceed — and how different companies will choose to react.