Texas-based Tesla Inc. is among a small but growing number of U.S. companies offering to cover travel costs for employees who need to cross state lines for medical care, including an abortion.
Companies are offering these benefits as the landscape of state and federal abortion policy in America is shifting. Texas implemented the country’s strictest abortion law last November when it banned abortion after six weeks of pregnancy and deputized citizens to enforce the rule. Other states including Idaho, Florida and Oklahoma have passed laws in recent months tightening access to the procedure.
Earlier this week, a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion indicated the court may be preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 precedent that established a constitutional right to an abortion.
The 67-page draft, first reported on Monday by Politico, declared that Roe was “egregiously wrong and deeply damaging.”
Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement Tuesday that the draft, written in February, wasn’t necessarily the final resolution in the case. The court is expected to issue its opinion by the end of June or early July.
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If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it would open the door to stronger state restrictions, including bans on the procedure.
Companies offering to help employees travel to get an abortion may be on safe legal ground for the moment, but that could change.
Texas’s abortion law extends liability to abortion clinics and doctors, as well as those who aid an abortion. Oklahoma and Idaho have passed similar legislation. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt enacted the law this week, and Idaho’s law was temporarily blocked in court. Some lawmakers, meanwhile, have pushed back on the new company policies.
Here, a look at some of the companies who have expanded benefits:
Tesla, TSLA -0.87%▼ which announced the relocation of its headquarters last October to Austin, Texas, said in its 2021 “Impact Report” that the company has an expanded “health insurance offering that includes travel and lodging support for those who may need to seek healthcare services that are unavailable in their home state.” Tesla didn’t respond to a request for comment Friday.
Amazon.com Inc., headquartered in Seattle, told employees it would reimburse up to $4,000 annually for travel expenses for medical treatments, including abortions, that employees can’t access within 100 miles of their homes.
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Citigroup Inc., in a proxy filing for its April shareholder meeting, said that starting this year it is offering travel benefits for employees to seek resources due to changes in reproductive healthcare laws. More than 10,000 full- and part-time Citi employees live in Texas.
Yelp Inc., based in San Francisco, is offering employees and their dependents financial assistance through insurance if they need to travel out of state for abortion care. Yelp’s YELP -4.34%▼ health insurance currently covers abortion care.
Tech giant Apple Inc., which is expanding its presence in Austin with a new $1 billion, 3-million-square-foot campus, also said its health-insurance policies cover abortion services and travel fees if necessary.
California-based Levi Strauss & Co. has said it would reimburse medical travel expenses for full-time and part-time employees.
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Match and Bumble
Match Group Inc., the parent company of dating apps such as Tinder, OkCupid and Hinge, and dating-app company Bumble Inc. created funds last year to assist employees needing to travel outside of Texas for abortions. Both companies are based in Texas.