Yelp Offers Employees an Abortion Travel Benefit

The review website will cover the travel cost for employees leaving their state to get an abortion

Crowd-source review website Yelp announced it will pay for the expenses of any employee and their dependents who leave their home state to get an abortion.

News of the company’s travel benefit broke on April 12, the same day Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill making it a felony to perform an abortion. 

“As a remote-first company with a distributed workforce, this new benefit allows our U.S. employees and their dependents to have equitable access to reproductive care, regardless of where they live,” said Yelps chief diversity officer Miriam Warren in a statement to The New York Times.

Yelp sent an email titled “Travel Coverage for Reproductive Health” to its employees on April 11. Employees can submit receipts for travel to their health insurance company.

“So no one else at Yelp is ever going to know who is accessing this, or how or when, and it will be a reimbursement that comes through the insurance provider directly,” she said.

The reviews platform is based in San Francisco and had over 4,000 employees. An estimated 200 are based in Texas, where a law banning abortion after six weeks has been allowed to remain in effect following a ruling from the state’s Supreme Court in March.

The company also said it would offer the benefit to employees in states if “current or future action … restricts access to covered reproductive health care” goes into effect.

The platform is the latest company to offer compensation or support for female employees seeking out-of-state abortions. 

Citigroup, Lyft, Uber, and Bumble have all offered abortion benefits to employees in Texas or states where new laws restrict access to the procedure.

Salesforce offered to relocate employees and their families if they were concerned about their access to abortions after Texas’s Senate Bill 8 became law last May.

Yelp has publicly aided pro-abortion causes on a number of previous occasions.

Yelp claims it double-matched employee donations to organizations fighting Texas’ and other states’ stringent abortion laws last year,” reports HR Digest. “In 2018, the platform claims it attempted to ensure that abortion-related reproductive care providers on Yelp were distinguished from crisis pregnancy centers.”

Abortion legislation is being considered by a number of states. 

On March 30, Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey signed into law a bill banning doctors from performing abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Women who receive an abortion after 15 weeks will not face criminal charges.

Ducey previously sign a bill banning women from aborting their pregnancies solely because the baby has a genetic abnormality, such as Down Syndrome, in 2021.

A bill similar to Texas’s abortion ban was introduced for consideration by lawmakers in Tennessee in March.

Alaska’s House of Representatives passed a budget amendment on April 7 that cut Medicaid funding for abortions despite a legal challenge. The measure was proposed by state Representative Christoper Kurka, who is running for governor.

Through restrictions in its budget, New Hampshire passed a law banning abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy in 2021.

In June, the Supreme Court is scheduled to review Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case centering on Missippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The case could potentially overturn the Court’s previous decision in the landmark case Roe v. Wade.

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