Companies Offering Abortion Travel Benefits Donate to Anti-Abortion Politicians

CorporationsShortly after the draft opinion was rewritten, plans were put in place to pay for abortion travel across states. Roe v. WadeThe Supreme Court of the United States leaked the official ruling in May. The official ruling was handedWith the exception of June 24, the number companies offering the benefit fell to 24. over 40 companiesSimilar travel policies for abortion were announced. But researchIt is evident that the list includes many companies. donatedAcross the country, anti-abortion legislators and politicians have been awarded thousands of dollars. There are still many privacy and logistical questions regarding the policies. Although company-covered abortion travel costs are a relief for those seeking care, it is still a financial burden. Reproductive rights advocates contend that the companies are hypocritical because they have not invested in long-term solutions to abortion care.

“How can employees trust their company to support reproductive rights when some of them even donate to anti-abortion politicians?” said Stephanie Piñeiro, co-executive director of Florida Access Network. “Ultimately, it is a lot of hypocrisy.”

According to data from Abortion Injustice Campaign led by Floridians for Reproductive Freedom, between 2020 and 2022, dozens of Florida corporations gave millions in campaign donations to anti-abortion lawmakers who voted for Florida’s 15-week abortion ban, which was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis last month. At least seven of them, including Disney, Comcast, AT&TAccording to, they will offer travel support to employees seeking abortion care. Disney is the second-highest contributor, having donated $927,359.81 since 2020 to anti-abortion Florida lawmakers. Comcast has donated $393,000, and AT&T has donated $159,000. Other companies that donated to anti-abortion politicians within the state and offered paid abortion travel include NBC Universal (Viacom), Walgreens, Zillow, and Verizon. PrismI reached out to each company representative, but none of them replied to my request for an interview.

“I would like these corporations to wake up to the hypocrisy that they’re showing,” said Amy Weintraub, the reproductive rights program director for Progress Florida. “I would like them to take responsibility for that and recognize that it is because of the anti-abortion extremists that they have funded that we’re in this pickle, and they’re having to expend extra money now to make sure that their employees get the care that they need.”

Other than Florida, according to reportingFrom Business Insider, AT&T contributed about $1.2 million to politicians who backed abortion trigger laws across 13 states in the U.S. BloombergSimilar reportedAmazon and Disney donated thousands of Dollars to Republican political committees (PACs), and candidates.

The benefits for abortion travel come after several states have banned abortions. Over 20 other states are expected to follow suit. Since Texas’s Senate Bill 8 went into effect last fall, abortion care providers in surrounding states, and even as far as Oregon, have reported a drastic increase in patients from Texas. Since bans were implemented in the South and other areas of the country, organizers have already seen this increase. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that there could be a 234% increase in Oregonians traveling to Oregon for abortion treatment now that the Supreme Court has been officially overturned. Roe v. Wade. According to Piñeiro, 15% of their clients have come to Florida from out of state in the past year.

“If corporations are really going to be supporting their employees getting an abortion, maybe that means connecting with an abortion fund or the National Network of Abortion Funds to make sure they are not allowing staff to perpetuate abortion stigma,” Piñeiro said. “I think there’s a lot that corporations can do in this moment other than say that they’re going to support but then fund anti-abortion politicians.”

Disney’s “family planning” benefit would be extended to any worker who cannot access care where they live, including “pregnancy-related decisions.” The company employs 195,000 people worldwide, including about 80,000 in Florida. Dick’s Sporting Goods, whose chairman has also donated thousands of dollars to Republican lawmakers, said the company would provide $4,000 in travel expense reimbursement and that the benefit will be offered to any “teammate, spouse, or dependent” enrolled in their medical plan. A spokesperson from Dick’s said they are not speaking with media at this time.

Abortion Advocates Question Employee Privacy Protections

Abortion advocates have also raised concerns about the logistics of the policies — how the information will be disclosed and whether they could eventually be reported to law enforcement.

“[Companies] have an opportunity to really show up for their workers,” Piñeiro said. “But that opportunity is only there if they’re willing to protect the privacy of their staff who may need abortions. The way that abortion stigma is so deeply ingrained in our experience … offering to pay for people’s abortions was not the solution. It was always the first. Now they know they need to take a few steps back and think about how they’re going to actually do that safely.”

At BuzzFeedThe company has decided to not use reimbursements to keep the abortion access policy process confidential and instead offers a small stipend. This would ensure that the entire process is handled by the HR department and not the finance department. Stipends are allowed to be used at the employee’s discretion, and the entire process is treated as a confidential medical matter.

Representatives from Disney, AT&T, and Comcast did not respond to a request for more details on the privacy protections, if any, of their policies. DoorDash has also announced a similar plan. A spokesperson for the company stated that they would not be handling reimbursements directly with employees but will instead rely on a third-party administrator to manage the policy in a Health Rembursement Arrangement. These third-party administrators are subject to federal HIPAA privacy rules, which would protect against overreach by the state and withhold transaction details from anyone who isn’t authorized. But the policy will not be available to independent contractors, including Dashers, the people laboring to deliver food to customers’ doors. DoorDash will be available starting in 2021 employedThere were 8,600 employees at the time, but that number had increased to 9,600 by 2017. over100,000 Dashers throughout the U.S.

Piñeiro, who has been fighting for abortion access for the last decade, said she was shocked to hear that some companies provide these benefits given their notoriously bad treatment of workers. Amazon and Starbucks are just two of the many companies that offer benefits. This has been going on for over a full year.

“I would have never imagined that companies would be coming out and doing this because of how poorly their workers are treated in the first place,” Piñeiro said.

The policies follow a national trend that began during the 2020 racial protests. In those instances, companies responded to historical cultural moments with performative acts of solidarity such as posting a black square on Instagram. Advocates claim that the policies are a thinly disguised attempt at capitalizing on this movement while generating positive PR.

“This is about changing the culture of the way that companies are responding to historical moments,” Piñeiro said. “When the Black Lives Matter protests were happening two summers ago, companies felt like they needed to say that to protect their brand. But what is the actual meaning behind it?”

Piñeiro and Weintraub said they hope companies will take privacy concerns into consideration when implementing these new benefits, and in the meantime keep their money away from anti-abortion politicians and instead direct resources to candidates whose values align with theirs.

PrismThis newsroom is independent and non-profit, and is run by journalists of color. We report from the ground up, and at the intersections between injustice and justice.