Starbucks is the latest company to start covering travel costs for employees seeking abortions.
Earlier this month, Politico obtained a first draft of the US Supreme Court's majority decision to effectively overturn Roe v. Wade and take away existing federal protections allowing women to get an abortion before 23 weeks, or when a fetus can live outside the womb. If the decision — authored by conservative Justice Samuel Alito — comes to fruition, it would uphold Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban, thus setting a precedent that would let individual states determine their own abortion rules.
In response to the leaked document, several companies such as Gucci, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have begun offering travel reimbursements to employees in states enforcing strict abortion laws, so they can receive the procedure in another state.
“I know this is weighing on many of you, so let me be clear upfront — regardless of what the Supreme Court ends up deciding, we will always ensure our partners have access to quality health care,” Starbucks' acting vice president for partner resources, Sara Kelly, wrote in an employee memo.
As noted by the New York Times, the new policy will provide travel reimbursements to anyone seeking an abortion if there are no providers within 100 miles of their home. It will apply to Starbucks employees enrolled in the company's insurance plan, though the coffee giant has yet to determine when exactly the benefit will go into effect.
That said, the publication also noted that Starbucks did not specify how many of its 240,000 employees across almost 9,000 US stores live in states that will ban abortions if the Supreme Court does overturn Roe v. Wade. This includes Texas, which recently passed legislation that would stop women from getting the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy.
Read the New York Times' full report here.
Photo via Getty / Beata Zawrzel / NurPhoto
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