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Tipsheet

Another Company Will Cover Expenses for Employees Seeking an Abortion

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

Online review and reservation service Yelp will reportedly announce Tuesday that it will cover expenses for employees and their spouses who travel out-of-state to get an abortion. 

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The New York Times reported that the company, which is based in San Francisco, retains more than 4,000 employees. Just over 200 employees work in Texas, which has a law on the books banning abortions after fetal heartbeat detection, which occurs at about six weeks gestation.

According to the Times, a Yelp representative said the company’s new abortion policy benefit extends to employees in other states who might be affected by “current or future action that restricts access to covered reproductive health care.” 

I’ve covered in recent weeks how more pro-life states, such as Arizona, Florida and Mississippi, have created legislation banning abortion at 15 weeks, which is mainstream in Europe. Other than California, Maryland and Colorado  are pushing extreme pro-abortion policies.

The Times noted that Yelp’s diversity officer is not concerned how the company’s abortion “program” will be received. Reportedly, the program is another effort to push the company’s pro-abortion agenda, as they already work towards steering Yelp users away from crisis pregnancy centers.

“Yelp is not concerned about how its program, which starts next month, will be received, said Miriam Warren, the company’s chief diversity officer. She and other executives have received many personal notes thanking Yelp for taking a stand on abortion, she said. 

The move, which comes as companies vie for talent in a tight labor pool, will help Yelp maintain a more diverse and inclusive work force, Ms. Warren said. ‘We want to be able to recruit and retain employees wherever they might be living,’ she said.

‘The ability to control your reproductive health, and whether or when you want to extend your family, is absolutely fundamental to being able to be successful in the workplace,’ she added.

‘I think the question for these companies is really going to be: Where do you want to locate?’ said Caitlin Myers, an economist at Middlebury College in Vermont who has been tracking the economic effects of reproductive health policies. ‘Do you locate in a place where women have extraordinarily limited reproductive rights? Are you going to be able to recruit women to come there?’ 

Yelp’s travel benefit is part of its longer-term efforts on abortion access. In 2018, the company said it would do more to make sure Yelp users clearly understood the difference between abortion clinics and ‘crisis pregnancy centers,’ which aim to steer people away from terminating a pregnancy.”

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Under the company’s new policy, Yelp employees will be able to submit receipts for travel expenses directly to their health insurance company, Warren told the Times. 

“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.

Last month, investment bank Citigroup made headlines for announcing it will cover travel expenses for U.S.-based employees seeking an abortion. 

“In response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states in the U.S., beginning in 2022 we provide travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources,” Citi wrote in a filing for its shareholders meetings scheduled April 26.

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