Amazon announced to its staff on Monday that it will pay up to $4,000 in travel expenses annually for non-life threatening medical treatments which include abortions, according to Reuters. The retail giant already offers up to $10,000 in annual travel reimbursements for life-threatening issues.
The news came the day Amazon stopped offering paid time off for US employees diagnosed with COVID-19. Instead employees have five days of excused unpaid leave.
Amazon’s announcement followed similar plans offered by Apple, Citigroup, Yelp, Lyft, Uber and others in response to states with, or planning to pass laws limiting abortion.
According to Amazon’s announcement, the reimbursement for employees, effective to Jan. 1 retroactively, applies if a procedure is not available within 100 miles of an employee's home and virtual care is not possible. The reimbursements are open to US employees or covered dependents enrolled in Premera or Aetna health plans and are not specific to abortion, they also apply to non-life threatening treatments.
A ruling is expected from the US Supreme Court by the end of June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that according to a leaked draft decision, will overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion across the US. Multiple states have laws which will limit abortion should Roe v. Wade be overturned.