Starbucks will cover employee travel costs for abortions and gender-affirming surgeries

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Starbucks coffee logo seen in one of their stores.

Stéphane Zenner | light flare | Getty Images

Starbucks announced on Monday that it will begin covering eligible travel expenses for employees seeking abortions or gender affirmation procedures.

The coffee chain joins Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Salesforce in offering to reimburse workers for travel expenses related to abortions following the leak of a proposed U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that guaranteed the right to undergo the procedure. Other big companies, like Walmart and Disney, have overwhelmingly chosen to remain silent on the draft advisory.

Starbucks has a reputation for championing liberal causes, like vocal support for same-sex marriage and hiring refugees. This also extends to transgender rights. Her health insurance has covered sex reassignment surgery since 2012 and a wider range of gender-affirming procedures, such as hair transplants or breast reductions, since 2018.

By mid-March, 154 anti-trans bills had been introduced in state legislatures, aimed at limiting access to health care, sports, restrooms and education, according to NBC News.

Employees enrolled in the Starbucks Insurance Plan and seeking access to abortion or gender affirmation procedures will be eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses if these services are not available within 100 miles of their home . The benefit will also extend to all dependents enrolled in Starbucks Healthcare.

A Starbucks representative said the company is still working out additional details, such as when the benefit goes into effect. The company has 240,000 employees in the United States.

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