May 16, 2022 — Starbucks has joined a handful of U.S. companies telling employees it will cover expenses if they have to travel out of state to get an abortion, The New York Times reported. Expenses for gender affirmation procedures will also be covered.
In a memo to employees obtained by The temperatureSara Kelly, the company’s vice president for partner resources, said she was “deeply concerned” when she read a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion saying a majority of justices believe Roe v . Wade should be canceled.
“Today, I am announcing that we are expanding our health care benefits in the United States to further protect your personal health decisions,” Kelly said in the memo.
“No matter where you live or what you believe in, partners enrolled in Starbucks Healthcare will now be offered reimbursement of eligible travel expenses when accessing abortion or gender affirmation procedures when those services are not available within 100 miles of a partner’s home.This benefit will also apply to dependents of partners enrolled in Starbucks Healthcare.
The memo does not say when the benefit will take effect. The memo says the company has approximately 240,000 employees nationwide.
Amazon, Yelp, Citi and Apple are other companies that have announced that they will cover travel costs for employees wishing to have an abortion.
If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, decisions about whether to authorize abortion would be left to the states. Many states have already taken steps to restrict access to abortion.
The temperature noted that the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that promotes abortion rights, said in 2019 that the average distance a person would have to travel to get to an abortion provider would drop from 97 miles to 122 miles if Roe v. Wade was canceled. Residents of the South and Midwest would be hardest hit, Guttmacher said.