Starbucks is the latest company to take a stand in supporting its employees' rights to reproductive healthcare. In the wake of the leaked opinion signaling the Supreme Court's plan to overturn Roe v. Wade, the company released a letter on Monday pledging to cover travel expenses for employees who need to go more than 100 miles from their home for an abortion. The company is following in the footsteps of several others — including Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple — that have already made similar promises.
"Like many of you, I'm deeply concerned by the draft Supreme Court opinion related to the constitutional right to abortion that was first established by Roe v. Wade," writes Sara Kelly, acting executive vice president of partner resources, in the letter. "I know this is weighing on many of you, so let me be clear up front — regardless of what the Supreme Court ends up deciding, we will always ensure our partners have access to quality healthcare."
Starbucks aims to support its employees and their families, no matter what their beliefs or healthcare needs might be, the letter continues. "Whatever healthcare choice you believe is right for you and your family, you deserve access to those services and the benefits that Starbucks provides," Kelly writes.
And those benefits extend beyond travel-expense coverage for abortion services. Starbucks is also pledging to provide financial relief for employees who need to travel more than 100 miles for gender-affirming procedures. The company offers a Family Expansion Reimbursement program as well, which helps offset the costs associated with surrogacy, adoption, and fertility treatments. Other services listed in the memo include paid leave for employees who welcome a new child by birth, adoption, or foster care; health-insurance options for transgender employees that include gender-affirming care; free counseling and mental health resources; and health-insurance options that cover preventative care and contraception.
Although there's still so much uncertainty surrounding the future of family planning, this could be a major step in helping to offset the financial burden of healthcare for Starbucks employees. Here's hoping we see other companies supporting their employees in similar ways — advocating for affordable and accessible family planning, basic healthcare, and inclusive coverage that supports all types of people with all types of health needs.