The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, leaving abortion rights to be decided by state governments—and also, increasingly, your employer.
Shortly after the decision was announced, a handful of companies—including Disney, Netflix, Paramount, Meta, Nike, AT&T, and Dick’s Sporting Goods—announced moves to cover the costs of abortion and travel out-of-state to access the procedure for employees. Other companies (Yelp, Citibank, Starbucks, and Amazon) made similar moves in recent months, and Lyft and Uber said they would cover legal fees for drivers in Texas and other states if they’re hit with costly lawsuits for driving someone to get an abortion.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: No one should have to ask their boss for an abortion. It’s incredibly bleak that your access to care could soon depend on your employer—or whether you have employer-provided health insurance. The people who will be most impacted by abortion bans are also those most likely to struggle to afford care—and also those most likely to lack paid time off or employer-provided health insurance. Privatized “solutions” like this will just worsen the inequities in who can and can’t afford the procedure.
None of this is to say employers shouldn’t be covering abortion care and associated costs for their employees—but if they really want to help address the national abortion crisis, and its disproportionate impacts on low-income people of color, they should donate to abortion funds.
These pay-for-abortion-travel policies would also be irrelevant if certain anti-abortion politicians had not been continuously reelected, frequently with the financial help of some of these very same corporations. As Jezebel has previously reported, Yelp, Citigroup, Uber, and Lyft have recently donated in the hundreds of thousands to Republican politicians ranging from former President Donald Trump, to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Prior to Disney’s recent announcement that it will no longer donate to any politicians, it donated $452,650 to anti-abortion politicians in 2020 alone; that same year, Nike donated $267,633 and AT&T donated a whopping $4,992,266 to anti-abortion politicians, according to Ultraviolet.
Further, Meta’s social platforms, Facebook and Instagram, have recently been exposed for helping anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers collect the personal data of people seeking abortion care, which could soon be used against them in criminal proceedings. Last month, a Meta executive instructed employees to not talk about abortion on Workplace, its internal company chat system.
This is just goes to show that these moves are in large part a PR effort. Corporations aren’t going to save your right to abortion access. Instead of relying on them, we suggest that you donate to abortion funds, independent clinics, and other groups who are actually committed to protecting abortion access for all.