Alaska Airlines
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Alaska Airlines Statement on Overturned Abortion Ruling; Will Cover Travel Costs For Employees

Other companies associated with travel also issued support for their employees.

The Supreme Court of the United States voted earlier today, Friday, June 24, 2022 to uphold a ban on abortion in the state of Mississippi and also to overturn what had been considered for almost 50 years the Constitutional right for women to abort their unborn fetuses, stating that “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” and that “the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

Alaska Airlines Statement on Overturned Abortion Ruling; Will Cover Travel Costs For Employees

This official public announcement on the controversial issue was publicly released from Alaska Airlines, which is replicated below in its entirety:

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. Below is our full message to the employees of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air regarding our commitment to ensuring they have the healthcare they need.

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.

Andy Schneider, senior vice president of People

Of significance is the landmark ruling of Roe v. Wade on Monday, January 22, 1973, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States generally protects the liberty of a pregnant woman to choose to undergo an abortion. Five of the nine justices voted to overturn that ruling.

Six of the nine justices also voted to uphold a ban on abortions after 15 weeks in the state of Mississippi, which was being challenged in the case.

As the ability to choose to have an abortion is now no longer considered a Constitutional right, the procedure may become illegal, outlawed, or severely restricted in as many as half of the states in the United States. Other states will likely keep more liberal legislation regarding abortion — similar to before the official ruling was announced earlier today — which means that women may need to travel to another state in order to access family planning and reproductive care.

In addition to Alaska Airlines, other companies which are linked to travel — such as Airbnb, The Walt Disney Company, and Condé Nast as three examples — have also announced that they will either cover costs for travel for employees who want to undergo the process of aborting a fetus but cannot do so in the jurisdictions in which they live because it is illegal to do so; cover the procedure under insurance as a health care travel benefit; or both.

Whether other airlines will follow the lead of Alaska Airlines is unknown at the time this article was written.

Final Boarding Call

Alaska Airlines and the other aforementioned companies have a right to provide what is considered to be support for their employees — as long as doing so is not illegal. I neither support nor oppose the official decision of the airline or the other companies.

For the record, I am against — in no particular order:

  • Telling a woman what to do with her body
  • Killing an unborn fetus unless the process is for medical reasons
  • Forcing an unwanted baby to be born unloved in a world of hostility

Ideally, the issue pertaining to abortion would be solved by eliminating unwanted pregnancies in the first place — the issue of abortion is basically a debate pertaining to what to do about something which has already happened and likely could have been prevented — but human nature being what it is, that is not likely to ever happen…

…and if unwanted pregnancies could at least be substantially reduced if not eliminated, then the process for couples who want to have a family but cannot have children naturally should be able to adopt unwanted babies with a streamlined process, as many people over the years have had to travel outside of the United States in order to adopt a child. This could potentially eliminate the abortion quagmire in which two sides who are overly adamant about their views and thoughts fight each other — sometimes to death.

Regardless of what happens from here on in with regard to abortion, one thing is for certain: the pro-life versus pro-choice debate is far from over — it will likely never be resolved, in my opinion — and travel will likely play a critical role for many women who seek to undergo the procedure.

Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

  1. Judging by the vast multitude of comments here, I’ll guess no one cares what you think

    Fake altruism at its best

    Follow the $$ – No paid maternity leave and one less person on the insurance program

    Probably best for you to stick to schlepping credit cards and whatnot

    1. Your comment about “schlepping credit cards” proves that you do not read The Gate, Erndog — unless your reading comprehension is really that poor…

      …and I will bet that even fewer people will care about what you think.

      Still, isn’t defecating in someone else’s living room nice — especially when they allow it?

      Please feel free to make yourself comfortable and post more inane comments here.

  2. Alaska Airlines should start providing no extra cost medical evacuation flights. For example, if you travel to Mexico on Alaska Airlines on a round trip ticket and get injured, Alaska should, as they say, ” …reimbursing travel for certain medical procedures and treatments if they are not available”

    Alaska Airlines should just shut its mouth for today’s Supreme Court decision. If it doesn’t, then it should also comment when there’s a sharp decline in the stock market, when Ukraine is invaded, every time China sends military aircraft towards Taiwan (which happens every day before they turn back), etc.

    1. However, Brian and The Gate may continue to post/publish in the same way as it does. There is nothing wrong with this (photo) or article!

  3. Just to clarify this a bit. Certain segments of the population think abortion is a form of birth control to get rid of unwanted babies but I digress…

    From a purely business sense, I don’t think it’s smart for public companies to voice support on this issue. Statements for or against abortion might serve to make some employees and customers feel better about their opinion that isn’t going to change due to such a statement but it risks alienating a good percentage of their customer base across demographic lines.

    1. Who gives a s%$# how they “feel”? For the employee, they given a paycheck in exchange for showing up an doing a job (even if their bad at it). For the customer, they’re paying for a service (transportation)…..which they may or may not actually receive.

  4. Virtue Signaling level 100. What a joke. Newsflash! ALL Employees ALREADY get free flights – no baby killing needed.

  5. James – AFAIK various companies have stated they will cover “travel expenses.” That seems to mean transportation (plane, bus, etc), meals and lodging.

  6. Pure virtue-signaling! It is disgusting that a company is publicizing its corporate policies for attention in an attempt to profit from it. A shame regardless of your opinion of the ruling.

    Both sides should actually be pleased with this ruling – we are not one homogeneous nation. This ruling returns this contentious issue to the states – which means we all have 50 different options of where to reside. We can choose the state that best represents our viewpoint. Some will be be insanely rigid in blocking abortion while some will be insanely open in encouraging abortion. Most will likely find the moderate middle that allows for women to exert control over their bodies without treating abortion as casual birth control. We should be rejoicing choice for all.

  7. Our religion does allow abortions in exceptional circumstances (e.g. to save the mother’s life) so a blanket absolute ban is not a good thing if that were to transpire.

    I look forward to the legality of same sex “marriage” being overturned and made illegal in all states.

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