The company will help U.S. employees who do not have access within 100 miles of their home.
A small group of companies is helping people protect their right to abortions. According to The New York Times, Starbucks is joining Yelp, Citigroup, and Tesla to cover transportation costs for workers in need of abortions. Starbucks announced on Monday that they will cover travel expenses for U.S. employees seeking abortions and gender-confirmation procedures, particularly for those who do not have access within 100 miles of their home. The announcement comes after the leak of a draft opinion from the Supreme Court which argued for overturning its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion. The draft was obtained earlier this month by Politico.
Starbucks will cover travel expenses for employees seeking abortions https://t.co/R9SKELgQMT— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (@PittsburghPG) May 17, 2022
Sara Kelly, the company’s acting vice president for partner resources, said she was “deeply concerned” reading the Supreme Court draft opinion. "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 healthcare. And when actions impact your access to healthcare, we will work on a way to make sure you feel supported. Today I’m announcing that we are expanding our U.S. healthcare benefit to further protect your personal health decisions. Regardless of where you live or what you believe, partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare will now be offered reimbursement for eligible travel expenses when accessing abortion or gender-affirming 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," Kelly wrote in a memo to Starbucks employees on Monday. The coffee giant has approximately 240,000 U.S. employees.
CNBC: #Starbucks to cover employees' travel expenses for abortions, gender-affirming surgeries following the leak of a draft Supreme Court ruling that would strike down Roe v. Wade. 154+ anti-trans bills have been introduced in state legislatures. https://t.co/YEEnd8qvnb— 🌻🍃Darwin🍃🌻 (@jf_darwin) May 16, 2022
A Starbucks spokesperson told USA TODAY that the travel benefit will be accessible to employees who take part in the company's health care plan, regardless of whether the employee works in a store that has voted to unionize. The company has not come up with a date as to when the travel reimbursements for abortions will take effect. Apart from that, the company's health care benefits also include insurance coverage for gender-affirming care and costs. This will help with surrogacy, adoption, and fertility treatments. As lawmakers introduce anti-trans legislation across the country, the benefits would indeed be helpful to those in need. By mid-March, it has been estimated that 154 anti-trans bills have been introduced in state legislatures. These are seeking to limit access to health care, sports, bathrooms, and education, according to NBC News.
"This year alone, hundreds of anti-LGBTQ and specifically anti-trans bills have already been introduced in states across the country, leaving kids and young people feeling attacked, alone, and unsure of where to go when they need help."https://t.co/j4WsDzEelE— The Trevor Project (@TrevorProject) May 14, 2022
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Justin Sullivan