United States: Amazon will financially help its employees who should travel for an abortion


Since this fall, many American companies have expressed their support, internally or publicly, for the right of women to have an abortion, at a time when it is increasingly threatened in the United States.

Amazon will now reimburse the travel expenses of its American employees for certain non-critical medical procedures, including abortions, while several conservative states have passed laws restricting access to voluntary abortions. Contacted by AFP, the group confirmed Monday the press reports on the change of its health insurance, but not the reasons for this extension of coverage. The e-commerce giant, which employs about 1 million people in the United States, will reimburse up to $4,000 in costs (travel and accommodation) for treatments that are not available within a 160 km radius of the accommodation.

Amazon, like many companies, is experiencing widespread cost increases, from supply chain to labor, due to inflation and the pandemic. The Seattle group has estimated the additional costs at $6 billion over the first three months of the year. On Saturday, he announced to his employees a step back in his management of the Covid. Employees who have caught the virus will be able to take five unpaid days off or paid sick days, depending on their contract allowance, a spokesperson said. The extension of travel reimbursements revealed on Monday also includes, among others, oncology, treatment for obesity, congenital anomalies (within 24 months after birth), mental health care and addiction services.

Supreme Court decision in June

Since this fall, many American companies have expressed their support, internally or publicly, for the right of women to have an abortion. Citigroup said in March that its employees would be reimbursed in case they had to travel for an abortion, saying it was a response to new laws in some states. On September 1, 2021, one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States came into force in the Republican state of Texas, prohibiting all abortions from the moment a fetal heartbeat is perceptible on ultrasound. , about four weeks after fertilization. Since then, several texts also limiting access to abortion have been passed in other conservative states such as Oklahoma (last Thursday), Florida, or Mississippi.

The legality of the text voted in Mississippi is under review at the United States Supreme Court, with a decision expected in June. The conservative judges, now with an ultra-majority, have suggested that they could reduce or even cancel the right to abortion, which is valid today as long as the fetus is not viable, i.e. towards the end of the second trimester.

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