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Starbucks to pay workers’ travel expenses for abortions, gender surgeries

Starbucks said it will reimburse employees for travel expenses incurred when seeking abortions or gender-affirming surgeries out of state. The Seattle-based coffee chain is part of a growling list of Fortune 500 companies, which includes Tesla, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Salesforce, that are offering the benefit to workers who cannot gain immediate access to the procedures. A Starbucks spokesperson told The Post that employees who won’t be able to access abortion services or gender-affirming care within 100 miles of their home will have their travel expenses covered by the company. The benefit will also be extended to dependents who are covered by Starbucks’ health plan, according to the company. “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,” Starbucks’ Acting Executive Vice President Sara Kelly told employees in an email. She said the company “will always ensure our partners (employees) have access to quality healthcare. And when actions impact your access to healthcare, we will work on a way to make sure you feel supported.” Starbucks and other firms that help women get abortions could potentially run afoul of the law in certain states. Earlier this month, the online news site Politico published a leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling that would strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito said that Roe was “egregiously wrong and deeply damaging.” A ruling on the case is expected sometime this summer. If the high court does overturn Roe, it will likely lead to a flood of legislation banning abortion in states ruled by Republican majorities, such as Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, and Idaho. Texas has introduced legislation would extend liability to abortion clinics, doctors, and other entities who assist women in terminating their pregnancies. Other states are considering similar laws. Other companies, meanwhile, have chosen to stay silent on the abortion issue. Walmart, American Airlines, The Walt Disney Co., Home Depot, CVS, and dozens of others have avoided commenting. Disney angered conservatives nationwide last month after it bowed to pressure from employees and publicly spoke out in opposition to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law banning schools from teaching gender and sexual identity education to kid before fourth grade. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the GOP-dominated state legislature responded by stripping Disney of its self-governing status giving it widespread autonomy over its theme parks in and around Orlando.

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