A number of tech and media companies are responding to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade by offering to pay the travel expenses of employees who will now have to travel to access reproductive health services in other states.
At least 13 states are expected to begin enforcing “trigger laws”—abortion-banning laws passed in anticipation of a SCOTUS reversal of Roe—in as few as 30 days.
Following the Court’s decision, Silicon Valley firms, including Meta, Uber, and Duolingo, announced or reaffirmed policies supporting employees seeking abortion services.
“This ruling puts women’s health in jeopardy, denies them their human rights, and threatens to dismantle the progress we’ve made toward gender equality in the workplace since Roe,” said Yelp cofounder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman in a statement sent to Fast Company on Friday. “Business leaders must step up to support the health and safety of their employees by speaking out against the wave of abortion bans that will be triggered as a result of this decision, and call on Congress to codify Roe into law.”
A Meta spokesperson said in a statement Friday: “We intend to offer travel-expense reimbursements, to the extent permitted by law, for employees who will need them to access out-of-state healthcare and reproductive services. We are in the process of assessing how best to do so, given the legal complexities involved.”
A spokesperson for Duolingo told Fast Company that the company was “updating our benefits to ensure every Duolingo employee in the United States can access reproductive healthcare, including reimbursement for any travel expenses necessary for accessing abortion services.”
An Uber spokesperson said: “After this morning’s Supreme Court ruling, we reiterated to employees that Uber’s insurance plans in the U.S. already cover a range of reproductive health benefits, including pregnancy termination and travel expenses to access healthcare. We will also continue to stand behind drivers, reimbursing legal expenses, if any driver is sued under state law for providing transportation on our platform to a clinic.”
Apple also reaffirmed its support for employees seeking reproductive care. “As we’ve said before, we support our employees’ rights to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health,” a company spokesperson told Fast Company. “For more than a decade, Apple’s comprehensive benefits have allowed our employees to travel out-of-state for medical care if it is unavailable in their home state.”
Variety reports that Disney sent an email to employees Friday reminding them they have access to benefits for family planning and reproductive healthcare, including abortion, “no matter where they live.” The benefit provides funds for “affordable coverage for receiving similar levels of care in another location.”
Netflix also told Variety its health plans offer a travel allowance for U.S. employees and their dependents for accessing abortion services.
Other tech and media companies have over the last few weeks pledged support to employees seeking reproductive healthcare, their statements prompted by a leaked draft of Justice Alito’s majority opinion overturning Roe, which Politico published in May.
Following the leaked draft, Microsoft told Bloomberg it would offer “travel-expense assistance for these and other medical services where access to care is limited in availability in an employee’s home geographic region.”
In addition, Amazon told Reuters it would cover up to $4,000 in travel expanses for its U.S. employees traveling for abortions.
A number of companies also released policy statements after Texas passed its new abortion ban last year, which ranks among the most restrictive in the country. The law exposes anyone, from doctors and councilors to Uber drivers, who help people access abortion services.
Tesla, which is headquartered in Texas, told the AP it would cover travel costs for employees seeking abortions outside the state.
Salesforce told CNBC it would offer to help its Texas employees relocate to escape the state’s new abortion law.
We will continue updating this story as more companies announce policy changes.