In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade — the 1973 decision that stated that state regulation of abortion was unconstitutional — the right to bodily autonomy is under threat in many parts of the U.S.
But if you’re reading this, you likely know: Abortion bans don’t stop people from getting abortions. That means that people in those states banning abortion who can get pregnant are going to need to start traveling to have (or sending away for) abortions. And those travel costs (not to mention the cost of abortion itself) are going to start adding up.
In the absence of federal protections, it’s time to start digging up support wherever we can — including the private sector. Many companies — big and small — have already started announcing their intentions to reimburse or cover employees for travel and other costs incurred while seeking an abortion out-of-state.
Of course, corporate abortion travel benefits are not the permanent solution. Nationwide, legal abortion is. The privatization of abortion access as a long-term fix will only increase economic inequality. Still, mutual aid abortion funds shouldn’t be the only ones subsidizing this nightmarish period. Corporations have a lot of concentrated resources that can and should be used to keep employees and their families safe and healthy, if not because it’s the right thing to do, then because it makes business sense. (Plus, this is what company-subsidized health insurance is for.)
In fact, access to abortion and other reproductive health care isn’t just a right — it’s also an economic imperative, not just for the person receiving it but for the economy at large.
Here are some basics to help you (and likeminded colleagues — you’re definitely not alone on this one) persuade your employer to add policies that help people access reproductive health to its list of benefits.