Employees and their dependents who have to travel out of state to access abortion services will be covered by Yelp.
The business aggregation company says it already covers abortion care in its health insurance policy, but is now expanding its services as reproductive rights are being placed in peril across America. Travelers who need to access abortion services can now use their health insurance to cover the costs. Employees who aren't able to procure abortions due to any current or future action that would come in the way of accessing the procedure will be covered by this.
The action is in response to Texas banning abortion procedures after six weeks of pregnancy.
Women's healthcare rights are restricted, and we believe that gender equality cannot be achieved if that is the case.
As a remote-first company with a distributed workforce, this new benefit allows our U.S. employees and their dependents to have equitable access to reproductive care, regardless of where they live.
The Supreme Court decision in Texas has led to similar travel reimbursements for employees at other tech companies. Drivers who are sued under the Texas abortion law will be paid legal fees. Employees of the software company can get help moving out of the state. Citigroup became the first major financial institution to cover travel costs for their workers who are affected by the ban in Texas.
The company has over 200 employees in Texas. The company offers a benefit to employees in states that restrict abortion access. Kevin Stitt, the governor of the latter, signed a bill that made abortion illegal except in medical emergencies, with punishments of up to $100,000 in fines and 10 years in prison.
When it comes to abortion care, Yelp has made efforts to remove any misinformation on their website. In order to ensure that abortion services and crisis pregnancy centers would fall under the correct category, the User Operations team manually reviewed over 2,000 listings. John Oliver said in a Last Week Tonight episode that the crisis pregnancy centers are trying to steer women away from abortion.
These efforts from tech companies are welcome, as America's laws on reproductive health move in a terrifying direction. Some of the corporations that extend their healthcare benefits are the same ones that donate to politicians and groups that try to restrict reproductive rights. According to OpenSecrets, a research group that tracks money in U.S. politics, Citigroup is one of the companies. Benjamin Sasse, a Republican politician, has a campaign against reproductive rights that is well- documented.
It should be noted that both Yelp and Citi donated to Democratic groups.
While the employee benefits are important for women and pregnant people to have control over their reproductive rights, it will take more progress to ensure and expand abortion access. If corporations must donate all, they should support those in power who align with their rhetoric.