Starbucks will pay for travel expenses for workers seeking abortions

Starbucks will pay for travel expenses for workers seeking abortions

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Starbucks on Monday announced it will cover travel expenses for U.S. employees seeking abortions and gender-confirmation procedures but 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 arguing 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.  

Sara Kelly, Starbucks acting executive vice president of partner resources, said in a letter Monday that “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.”  

Kelly also wrote that “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.”  

The benefit will also be available to dependents of employees in Starbucks’ health care plan. The coffee giant has approximately 240,000 U.S. employees.  

Supreme Court: Justice Alito’s history of abortion in leaked draft opinion? It’s debatable, experts say.

Roe v. Wade: How many abortions are actually performed in the US? Rates have declined for decades.

Starbucks joins a group of companies that have assured workers they will help pay for travel to seek an abortion or help workers leave states over abortion laws, including Salesforce, Amazon, Microsoft, Tesla and other employers.  

Starbucks did not immediately confirm whether the travel benefit would automatically apply to stores where employees have voted to unionize. Earlier this month, the company announced boosted benefits and pay for workers at non-union stores.  

CEO Howard Schultz said Starbucks is not allowed to offer benefits at the union stores because they negotiate their contracts.  

Contributing: Associated Press 

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