Microsoft to help cover workers’ travel costs for abortions as new restrictions loom in US
Microsoft will help cover the costs of employees having to travel to get abortions or gender-affirming care, a response to looming new restrictions in states around the US.
The software maker will “support employees and their enrolled dependents in accessing critical health care — which already includes services like abortion and gender-affirming care — regardless of where they live across the US,” according to a statement on Monday.
“This support is being extended to include travel expense assistance for these and other medical services where access to care is limited in availability in an employee’s home geographic region.”
Microsoft is the latest corporate giant to confront the issue following the release of a draft Supreme Court opinion last week that would overturn the Roe v Wade decision — a landmark ruling that legalised abortion throughout the US.
Amazon said earlier this month that it would cover as much as $US4000 ($5756) in travel expenses related to medical procedures, including abortion services. Citigroup, Lyft and Uber Technologies have made similar pledges.
Beyond the Supreme Court case, states have sought to impose new rules limiting gender-affirming health care for transgender children. Earlier this year, Microsoft joined Apple and other companies in urging Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott to scrap such an order.
Other companies are debating whether to update their policies as well. That includes Wall Street banking giants Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, which are discussing whether to cover travel costs for abortions, Bloomberg reported last week.
In response to the moves, Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has introduced a bill to remove tax breaks for “woke corporations.” The bill would prohibit employers from deducting expenses related to their employees’ abortion-travel costs.
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