November 27, 2022

MasterCard, PayPal and Starbucks are among the companies on a growing list to say they’ll help pay for employees to travel for abortions if the procedure is not available where they live.

“We will continue to offer employees access to the same health care that is available today wherever they live,” a spokesperson for MasterCard stated in an email, confirming a report by Bloomberg News. 

That includes family planning and reproductive benefits, from fertility treatments to surrogacy and adoption services, pregnancy prevention including vasectomy coverage and access to contraception and pregnancy termination,” Purchase, New York-based MasterCard told employees in a memo cited by Bloomberg.

MasterCard’s new abortion travel policy takes effect next month.

PayPal made the decision to pay for employees to travel for abortions in necessary after the Texas Supreme Court upheld a law prohibiting abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, something that can happen within six weeks of pregnancy. 

“We communicated directly with Texas employees about our commitment to providing equitable health care benefits,” Kausik Rajgopal, EVP, chief human resources officer at PayPal, told employees in a May 9 memo seen by CBS MoneyWatch. 

The recently leaked draft of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade prompted PayPal to prepare for potential outcomes, leading it to “extend this support to any state where legislation following the court’s decision leads to diminished healthcare access with respect to reproductive health,” Rajgopal added.

Seatte-based Starbucks is also expanding its existing medical insurance offered to its workers to reimburse transportation expenses for employees and dependents who don’t have access to the procedures within 100 miles of their home. 

After several states enacted restrictive reproductive health care laws, companies including Amazon, Apple, Citigroup, Microsoft and Salesforce said they would reimburse workers who get abortions in other states. A ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that would effectively strike down Roe v. Wade could pressure additional companies to similarly reimburse employees. 


Abortion rights activists gather in D.C. to march, protest potential Roe v. Wade reversal

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“Like many of you, I’m deeply concerned by the draft Supreme Court opinion related to the constitutional right to abortion that was first established by Roe v. Wade,” Sara Kelly, Starbucks’ acting executive vice president for employee resources, said in a blog post

The company offers health coverage to its 240,000 part- and full-time workers at its U.S. stores, but declined to say how many employees are enrolled for the benefit. 

Starbucks said the expanded coverage would extend to workers at stores that have voted to unionize or are in the process of doing so. Starbucks earlier this month hiked wages and expanded training at its corporate-owned stores, but not at more than 50 recently unionized locations or those where votes are in the works. 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mastercard-starbucks-abortion-travel-costs-gender/