The e-commerce giant said last month that it would cover as much as $4,000 in expenses for employees traveling across state lines to procure an abortion. After the Supreme Court overturned Roe — the 1973 decision claiming that the Constitution protects abortion — several other leading corporations followed suit.
“As part of Amazon’s wide-reaching efforts toward a more inclusive and diverse workforce, we believe that Amazon cannot let this recent decision go unanswered,” the letter said. “We ask Amazon, the world’s best employer, to actively defend against this assault on our liberty.”
Among other actions, the authors are requesting that Amazon “allow employees of all genders the space and time to grieve, express their frustrations, and protest against this assault on our rights.” In addition, they want the company to “donate and match donations to bail funds” to help “women and pregnant people” seeking abortions in states with protections for pre-born babies.
Amazon would not be the first company to pursue such a policy. Clothing maker Patagonia told employees last week that it would pay bail for those who “peacefully protest” in response to the Supreme Court’s decision.
Beyond helping women circumvent their state’s laws, the Amazon employees want the company to “expand remote work options” for those who relocate in response to the decision, “audit and remove product offerings” that “misrepresent” abortion and “encourage hate speech or violence” toward abortion seekers, and stop donating to political groups that oppose abortion.
The letter also calls for Amazon to “cease operations in states” with pro-life laws. Indeed, several states have introduced various penalties for those who carry out abortions, even as other states are attempting to strengthen their abortion laws and become “safe havens” for women seeking the procedure.
Though Democrat-run California boasts more than 170,000 Amazon employees, Republican-run states Texas and Florida have 95,000 and 59,000 Amazon employees, respectively.
The letter’s authors acknowledge that some of their suggested actions include substantial “business risk” but argue that “these are unprecedented times.”
“Given the attacks on our democracy, and the continued deterioration of our rights, we believe the time to act is now,” the employees concluded.
Beyond the companies taking action to finance employees’ abortion-related travel, major retailers are rationing Plan B pills in response to an uptick in demand. Plan B stops the release of an egg from the ovary, stops the union of sperm and egg, and could stop fertilized eggs from implanting in the womb, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Walmart has “some pills available without limits, but only in cases where they wouldn’t ship until next month” and will be limiting sales to “four or six” at a time. CVS is “limiting purchases to three” in an effort to ensure “equitable access.”
“The pills are often referred to and sold under the Plan B brand without a prescription,” the outlet explained. “Also called morning-after pills, they are designed to be taken up to three days after unprotected sex.”