Amazon announced it will pay up to $4,000 annually to cover employees’ travel expenses for abortions.
The policy was announced Monday via a company-wide message first reported by Reuters and later confirmed by an Amazon spokesperson to CNN Business.
The reimbursement, effective January 1st retroactively, applies to employees who are unable to receive an abortion within 100 miles of their home and when virtual medical assistance isn’t sufficient. It is open to U.S. employees and covered dependents enrolled in Premera or Aetna health plans, whether they work in a corporate office or a warehouse.
The policy does not appear to provide any incentives or reimbursements for individuals who decide against aborting their babies.
While the reimbursements are not specific to abortion, as they apply to other non-life threatening treatments such as around cardiology, cellular gene therapies and substance-abuse disorder services, the announcement came just hours after a leaked majority opinion draft from the Supreme Court that would strike down the Roe v. Wade decision.
Politico, which first leaked the statement, described it as a “full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey.”
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division,” writes Justice Samuel Alito in the initial draft majority opinion.
Since the opinion leaked, far-left activists and Democratic representatives have taken to the streets to protest the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade. Polls continue to show that most Americans believe abortion should be either “mostly” or “always” illegal and support banning abortion after 15 weeks.
Despite this, other companies such as Citigroup, Yelp, Uber, and Lyft have adopted similar policies to circumvent abortion restrictions.