Concerns Over Businesses Reimbursing Travel to get Abortions
Below is an anonymized version of a letter I shared with my employer to clarify their position and seek a less partisan policy. All references to my company have been replaced with “Acme” and any edited portions are surrounded with [square brackets].
In this document, I express questions and concerns about the “New Reproductive Rights Travel Benefit” in the form of two contradictions. Both contradictions exist between the decision to reimburse travel to abortion and the original announcement’s statement: “We at [Acme] have worked to create a welcoming space for all and believe in our guiding principles of Respecting Others”. I believe these two contradictions demonstrate that this partisan policy will not create a “welcoming space for all” and will have the unintended consequence of excluding certain groups from access to a “welcoming space” and respect.
Because abortion is such an immensely important and impactful matter, affecting the lives of millions of mothers and the unborn (not to mention their families), I consider it necessary to express these contradictions with the hope of clarifying [Acme]’s position on these issues and seeking a less partisan policy which is more inclusive and respectful of diverse ideologies and people.
Contradiction 1: Regarding Pro-Life Employees
In contradiction of the work to “create a welcoming space for all” and “our guiding principles of Respecting Others”, this policy does not create a welcoming space for pro-life employees nor does it respect them and their convictions. By reimbursing travel to get an abortion, [Acme] is effectively requiring that all employees who make the company profitable (hopefully all of them), facilitate the procurement of abortions - a behavior which is, by definition, antithetical to the moral convictions of pro-life employees. I am concerned that this policy, far from creating a “welcoming space for all”, forces many current and potential pro-life employees to choose between funding something they believe is morally wrong or leaving [Acme]. Is there a new policy we could enact which will create a more welcoming space for pro-life employees and does not corner them into this difficult dilemma?
Contradiction 2: Regarding Unborn, Human Life in a Womb
The second contradiction of the work to “create a welcoming space for all” and “our guiding principles of Respecting Others” is that this policy does not create a “welcoming space” for unborn life in a womb nor does it respect that life - it facilitates the killing of it. I recognize that some of my pro-abortion colleagues may object to this representation and I sincerely want to learn how they represent what happens during an abortion. That being said, until convinced otherwise, I take it as a biological fact that a successful abortion kills an unborn life. As such, there is a contradiction in claiming this policy will help “create a welcoming space for all” and respect others; it only respects those outside of the womb and guarantees no welcoming space and respect for life inside the womb.
The only way I know of to resolve this contradiction is to presuppose that unborn life in a womb is not inherently worthy of receiving a “welcoming space” and respect. Is [Acme] making this presupposition? If so, on what basis and by what authority does [Acme] affirm that life in a womb is not inherently worthy of a “welcoming space” and respect? Is [Acme], an e-commerce company, qualified to speak authoritatively and definitively on a contentious bioethical subject which is still being debated across the United States and in our Federal Government?
If my suggested resolution of this contradiction is inaccurate, please explain how [Acme] resolves this contradiction. If [Acme] believes that unborn life in a womb is inherently worthy of receiving a “welcoming space” and respect, how can [Acme] justify this policy which deprives the unborn life of that which is supposedly inherent to it?
In the stated mission to “create a welcoming space for all” (emphasis added) and respect others, [Acme] has defined the terms “all” and “others” so narrowly that I fear these statements are declarations of partisan support rather than inclusion and respect for diverse ideologies and individuals. I am concerned that the work to “create a welcoming space for all” (emphasis added) only applies to employees who are pro-abortion and family members outside of a womb. Similarly, when applying the principle of respecting others, [Acme] effectively excludes pro-life employees and unborn human lives inside a womb from the ‘others’ deemed worthy of respect.
I know this document will be very difficult to read for many, but I believe this moment requires candor and clarity on this immensely consequential topic. We must be willing to have hard conversations if we are to form a just, diverse, and inclusive company in which no one (whether inside or outside a womb) is excluded from the respect that is inherently due them and the welcoming space we seek to provide.
 - In the original document, there is a link to the announcement here, but this was removed as the announcement I’m referencing was made internally.
 - In the original document, I have a footnote here noting that, when I refer to “abortion” or “abortions”, I am referring to abortions without medical necessity; that is, abortions which are not necessary to save the mother’s life. I note that there I am not aware of any states with restrictions on abortions for medical necessity and, therefore, assume that [Acme]’s policy of reimbursing travel to get abortions will primarily be used for abortions without medical necessity.