After the leaking of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion on Roe v. Wadeit has become evident that it is only a matter of time before the highest court give states complete autonomy on issues such as abortion or gender-affirming therapies. With the background of dozens of state laws that restrict or prohibit this type of procedure, it is expected that there will be many states in the country in which residents do not access these treatments or surgeries.
In protest to this several private companies have decided to offer as a benefit for their employees to cover travel costs to other states (where these types of procedures will continue to be legal) for those who want to carry out an abortion or gender reassignment therapy.
The latest major company to announce such a move is starbuckswhich is added to similar announcements made in recent days by Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Salesforce. The coffee chain announced this morning that reimburse the travel expenses of those employees who live in states where access to abortions or gender therapy is limited, so that they can carry out these procedures in other states if the service is not available within a radius of 160 kilometers where the employee lives. The coverage also covers any dependent of that employee who is a beneficiary of the medical insurance offered by the company.
This is not the first time that Starbucks has been involved in political issues. The coffee giant has a long history of supporting various policies. In the past, it has campaigned in favor of same-sex marriage and has been one of the first large companies in the country to have a quota for refugees among its employees. Since 2012, the health insurance offered by Starbucks to its employees includes coverage for sex reaffirmation surgeries.and since 2018 they expanded the coverage offer to other types of treatments aimed at the transgender community, such as hair transplants or breast reduction.
Starbucks has 240 thousand employees in the United States. The company representatives, when making the announcement, clarified that there is not yet an exact date for the new benefit to come into force, but that they are working to have the details ready as soon as possible.
Since mid-March of this year, 154 bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country that limit the rights of the trans community. on topics such as medical coverage, access to toilets, participation in sports (perhaps the fact that has had the most publicity due to the alleged disadvantage of female athletes when they compete against another athlete who was born as a man) and education.