Employers Paying for Abortion Travel Costs Isn’t a Solution

The list of companies saying they’ll cover travel costs for their employees to get an abortion is growing.

This policy is being applauded as responsive, responsible, and forward thinking — even as a recruiting advantage!

This policy, is also, a band aid on an open wound.

So many assumptions at work here in these well-intentioned but ultimately very limited HR policies.

Covering travel expenses to receive abortion services assumes that:

  • The abortion was planned and not in response to a medical emergency
  • The person is able to travel
  • The person’s health insurance will cover the costs of seeking care out of area
  • The person’s current healthcare provider has a referral network that will get them quickly under the care of a provider out of state
  • The person’s healthcare network goes beyond Planned Parenthood
  • The dollar cap (I’ve seen ~$4000 reported) will be enough (Consider if the person needs to get medivac’ed)
  • There are no additional costs (like childcare) that will need to be covered or might be a burden
  • It will be a quick trip there and back

Bottom line: It’s a start. But these policies are not near enough to truly address the women’s healthcare crisis that is brewing in the wake of Roe being struck down by SCOTUS.