Tech Companies Will Cover Abortion Travel—but Not for All Workers

Apple, Meta, Microsoft and Uber also rely on large TVC groups or concert workers and have announced abortion travel benefits for their employees. When asked if the unemployed workers were covered, Microsoft spokeswoman Michelle Micor declined to answer; the other three companies did not respond.

Ironically, workers who are outside the benefits of abortion travel are more likely to need full-time technology employees, given their generally lower compensation. In 2015, the Brookings Institution found that people with family incomes below the federal poverty line, who tend to have less access to contraceptive and family planning education, were five times more likely than wealthier people. of suffering an unwanted pregnancy. Black and Hispanic people are overrepresented among abortion applicants.

People on lower incomes are also less likely to have health insurance that covers abortion. In 2014, the last year of which Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit abortion policy, has data, only 31 percent of people seeking abortion care had any private health insurance. Another 35% were covered by Medicaid, which excludes most abortion coverage in 34 states that will not fund it.

Experts say there are many ways in which technology companies could support TVCs and concert workers in the post-Roe USA if they want. Shelley Alpern, director of corporate engagement at Rhia Ventures, a social impact investment firm that presents shareholder resolutions pushing companies to support reproductive rights, says these include creating a travel fund that temporary and contractors could use, the suspension of political donations to anti-abortion politicians. and contacting legislators to oppose anti-abortion policy. Big companies “are like sleeping giants on this issue,” Alpern says.

Other options for corporations that want to make a difference include donating local abortion funds to places where they do business or have employees, says Liza Fuentes, a senior research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute. “It’s a pretty low fruit and is desperately needed,” Fuentes says. He says technology companies could work with the National Abortion Funds Network, which allows donors to allocate funds to specific communities, and groups like Brigid Alliance, which organizes and funds abortion care and travel for people. they need it.

Some permanent employees of technology companies have been pressuring their own bosses to take some of these measures to support access to abortion. He Washington Post reported last month that workers at Amazon, Microsoft and Google have circulated petitions and internal messages asking their companies to pledge to protect the privacy of users seeking abortions.

In his statement asking Alphabet to extend the benefits of abortion travel to TVCs, AWU’s Koul said the company should also end donations to anti-abortion politicians and establish privacy protocols for abortion. protect Google users looking for information about access to abortion. “History has shown that the Supreme Court ruling will not stop abortions, it will only stop safe abortions,” he wrote. “Google can do more to ensure that all workers and users have the information and resources they need to safely access reproductive health services.”

A day after the AWU released its statement, Google announced its privacy updates, which include removing visits to abortion clinics from users’ location history. Software engineer and executive board member Ashok Chandwaney acknowledged the changes, but reiterated that the company must go further to protect the privacy of users and workers and expand access to abortion for all its workers. “Our organization will continue,” he wrote.

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