Abortion rights demonstrators rally with signs and megaphones.

Capitalism Will Not Save Us But the Very Least Businesses Can Do Is Fund Employees’ Abortion Needs Post-Roe

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In the war for equal rights and human dignity, capitalism is not our friend. By its nature, it cannot be, since in the end that system will always fight to protect itself and its own economic interests above all else. However, if businesses decide they want to use some of their money to help along the way, well, that’s just fine.

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In the hours since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, a number of large companies have announced that they would fund travel for employees in states where abortion is banned, in order to go to states where it’s still legal.

The CEO of DICK’S Sporting Goods announced today that the company would be providing up to $4000 in expense reimbursements to employees and their families needing to travel for abortion care.

That’s far from the only company making this sort of pledge. Tech giant Yelp has made a similar commitment, telling Business Insider: “This ruling puts women’s health in jeopardy, denies them their human rights, and threatens to dismantle the progress we’ve made toward gender equality in the workplaces since Roe. Business leaders must step up to support the health and safety of their employees by speaking out against the wave of abortion bans that will be triggered as a result of this decision, and call on Congress to codify Roe into law.” 

Insider writes:

Since the leaked draft opinion, Yelp has joined other companies including Citi, Netflix, and Tesla have said they will cover travel costs for workers seeking abortions. Since announcing the benefit, [Yelp’s chief diversity officer Miriam] Warren said other companies have reached out with questions on how they could mimic it. 

“Many companies are reaching out about this issue,” she previously said. “This shows us that companies, big and small, and across a number of industries, are concerned about this issue and they also want to do something to safeguard their employees.”

While I’m sure some of these CEOs are decent people, this is, in the end, an economic decision, not a moral one. The majority of Americans across party lines, support abortion access on some level and do not want Roe overturned. This is an undeniably sound economic investment for these businesses.

It’s also important to note that this is a very temporary solution to a massive problem. While there are many states where abortion is and is likely to remain legal, it is very likely that anti-abortion state legislatures will soon start trying to ban interstate travel for the purposes of seeking an abortion. Many people also aren’t aware that medicated abortion is safe and widely available, even through the mail, requiring no travel. (Although that, too is certainly going to come under attack.) INeedanA.com is a great resource for more information (that also doesn’t store tracking data).

But for now, if these businesses are going to help people get necessary access to abortion care, please have at it.

(image: Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.