Major Companies Are Taking A Stand Against The Roe V. Wade Decision In An Unexpected Way

The Supreme Court ruling on June 24, that overturned Roe v. Wade – the decision that gave women the constitutional right to get an abortion — wasn't entirely a surprise. The majority opinion to overturn the nearly 50-year-old ruling was leaked in early May, per Politico. The ruling comes at a time when, according to a Gallup poll, only 25% of Independent Americans had confidence in the Supreme Court, marking a new low, as well as only 39% of Republicans and 13% of Democrats. With the decision, the law in some states made abortion immediately prohibited with additional restrictions expected shortly in other states, per Politico.

Looking at major cities in 21 states where abortion is now or will soon be illegal, NBC News determined that travel time to a place where abortion is legal would take an average of four hours. As a part of the majority opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in support of reversing Roe v. Wade but that states should not prevent people from crossing state lines to get an abortion if abortion is banned in their state, according to Bloomberg. While there may not be any punishment for traveling to another state for an abortion, it still requires taking time off work and paying for transportation and potentially for lodging. That will have more of an impact on low income people and people of color, per Texas Tribune. And in response to the ruling, some businesses are taking a stand.

Major businesses are promising travel expense reimbursement to get a legal abortion

Dozens of big businesses across the U.S. have publicly stated that they would support their employees in the face of the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade by helping them pay for travel expenses to get an abortion. Dick's Sporting Goods said they'd reimburse employees up to $4,000 if they live in a state where abortion is illegal and have to travel to get a legal abortion, and after the announcement, their stock price went up — outperforming competitors, per MarketWatch. After the leaked opinion in May, Starbucks came out with a statement that said their employees getting an abortion could get a "medical travel reimbursement." They've also said that reimbursement will soon apply to gender-affirming care as well. 

Those two businesses are joined by a growing number of companies who've said they will provide various amounts of reimbursement for an employee's travel and lodging incurred while getting a legal abortion, including — as of this moment — Condé Nast, Apple, Microsoft, Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Comcast, Netflix, Sony, Meta, Zillow, Patagonia, Intuit, Bank of America, Mastercard, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, DoorDash, Duolingo, BuzzFeed, Box, Johnson & Johnson, Yelp, Tesla, Reddit, Amazon, Levi's, Airbnb, and PayPal (via NPR).

Uber and Lyft have also said that they will not only provide travel expenses to employees traveling to get an abortion, but they both will also pay legal fees for any of their drivers who may face lawsuits under Oklahoma's abortion law as well, according to CNBC.