While United Airlines struck a more neutral tone in response to the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning the constitutional right to abortion, Alaska Airlines has chosen a more assertive approach.
Alaska Airlines Will Pay For Out-Of-State Abortion Procedures, Including Flights
Alaska Airlines was the first U.S. carrier to issue a statement on abortion (which does not even mention the word abortion) and promises to pay not only for the procedure (United still promises this too), but pay for pregnant people to have abortions in other states if not available in their own state. A letter by Andy Schneider, Alaska’s Senior Vice President of People, states:
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the protections previously afforded by Roe and Casey. While the issues at hand are deeply personal, this is a very public event and I know it may generate questions about how Alaska and Horizon provide access to health care through its benefits programs.
First, I appreciate the range of emotions that you, our guests and members of our communities may be feeling. Our culture of care includes ensuring a work environment where everyone feels safe and respected. Regardless of your individual views, this is a time to demonstrate understanding, empathy and kindness for each other.
Second, we will continue, just as we always have, to provide employees with extensive benefits to support your health and well-being, no matter where you live. This includes reimbursing travel for certain medical procedures and treatments if they are not available where you live. Today’s Supreme Court decision does not change that.
Depending on your individual experiences and feelings, today’s news may be distracting. Please remember our number one value of safety, and continue to focus on running a safe operation. If you are unable to focus at the level your role requires, please reach out to your manager or HR partner. We also have resources available to you and your household members through our employee assistance program.
Please continue to take care of yourself and each other.
Interestingly, Alaska Airlines published its memo to employees in its newsroom, suggesting the audience of the letter was not just employees.
Alaska also does not mention the word abortion in its letter. Instead, the procedure is referred to as “protection” or “health and well-being.”
Alaska explains, “Just as we always have, our company will continue to provide employees with extensive benefits to support their health and well-being, no matter where they live.” The airline has promised to reimburse employees for flying out of state if needed for an abortion. Interestingly, the airline avoids using the word abortion in its note on abortion.
image: Alaska Airlines