Yelp, the online commercial business review and reservation service, has joined Citi, Apple, and other corporations to cover expenses for employees and their spouses seeking abortions.
On Wednesday, Yelp was the latest company to announce that it will cover the costs for its workers who must travel out of state to access abortion services, the New York Times reported. The move is in response to the Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
Under the new policy, Yelp employees can submit travel receipts to their health insurance company for reimbursement, so no one else at Yelp is ever going to know who is accessing this, how, or when, said Miriam Warren, Yelp’s chief diversity officer.
Yelp, which employs more than 4,000 employees in the United States, and 200 in Texas, says that the benefit will extend to workers in other states with restricted abortion access.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill on Tuesday making it a felony to perform an abortion except in medical emergencies. The felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and carries a $100,000 fine.
According to Warren, Yelp is not concerned about how its program, which starts next month, will be received by the public, she said that she and other executives have received numerous personal notes thanking the company for taking a stand on the matter.
Warren stressed that the move will help Yelp maintain a more diverse and inclusive workforce, stating, “We want to be able to recruit and retain employees wherever they might be living.”
“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.
Given that Yelp is willing to pay for its employee's abortions, it will certainly be precluded from having to provide maternity leave and childcare services to employees who choose to kill their offspring instead of raising them.
According to the New York Times, Yelp’s travel benefit is part of the company’s longer-term efforts on abortion access. In 2018, Yelp said it would do more to help its users clearly understand the difference between abortion clinics and so-called “crisis pregnancy centres,” which aim to steer would-be mothers away from having an abortion.