May 16, 2022 -- Starbucks has joined a handful of U.S. companies telling employees it will cover expenses if they need to travel out of state to obtain abortions, The New York Times reported. Expenses for gender-affirming procedures will also be covered.

In a memo to employees obtained by The Times, Sara Kelly, the company’s vice president for partner resources, said she was “deeply concerned” when she read a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court saying a majority of justices think Roe v. Wade should be reversed.

“Today I’m announcing that we are expanding our U.S. healthcare benefit to further protect your personal health decisions,” Kelly said in the memo.

“Regardless of where you live or what you believe, partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare will now be offered reimbursement for eligible travel expenses when accessing abortion or gender-affirming procedures when those services are not available within 100 miles of a partner’s home. This benefit will also apply to dependents of partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare.”

The memo doesn’t say when the benefit will take effect. The memo says the company has about 240,000 employees nationwide.

Amazon, Yelp, Citi, and Apple are other companies that have announced they’ll cover travel expenses for employees seeking abortions.

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, decisions about allowing abortion would be left up to the states. Many states have already moved to restrict abortion access.

The Times noted that the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that promotes abortion rights, said in 2019 that the average distance a person would have to travel to an abortion provider would increase from 97 to 122 miles if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Residents of the South and Midwest would be most affected, Guttmacher said.

Show Sources

The New York Times: “Starbucks will cover travel expenses for employees seeking abortions.”


Starbucks. “Letter to Starbucks Partners: Ensuring Access to Healthcare”


The Guttmacher Institute. “If Roe Were Overturned, As Many As 140,000 Individuals Could Be Prevented from Accessing Clinical Abortion Services During the First Year”

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