HOUSTON — Some Houston companies are taking it upon themselves to help with abortion access for their employees.
As abortion rights get stripped away in Texas, private companies are exploring options to help their employees.
Companies said they felt like they had to do something for the women who work for them. Some have raised money for abortion access and others have paid for it themselves.
For some major companies, the support started before the decision was even made. Starbucks, Tesla and Amazon were some of the companies that announced their plans in May. They said that if Roe v. Wade was struck down, they would pay travel expenses for their employees to get an abortion.
When the ruling was overturned last week, more major brands announced similar efforts, including Disney, Meta and Tegna (KHOU 11's parent company).
But, large companies aren't the only ones making accommodations.
Houston's boutique trial law firm Aza announced it will reimburse travel expenses for employees seeking healthcare in other states.
“The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.” Aza Law Firm Partner Jane Robinson said. “It was important to us to let our employees know that we want to take care of them. And we want to make sure that they have access to the healthcare that they need. We just want to keep them safe and healthy.”
The firm said that as of now, there don't seem to be any legal issues with what they're providing to their employees.
“We certainly are going to endeavor to follow the letter in the spirit of the law, but it doesn’t seem that that is happening yet, and so if that happens, we will address that when it happens,” Aza of counsel Daryl Moore said.
Paying for abortion care is just one way Houston companies are stepping in. Axelrad, a beer garden near downtown, held an event Saturday to raise money for abortion access.
“This is exactly the type of thing that sets us back, this legislation, and we needed to act. We need to do something. We just need to do something,” Axelrad co-founder and partner Monte Large said.
Large said they will also be offering support to their employees who seek abortion care out of state.
“We want to do what we believe in strongly and I think if that results in some harm in the business, we’re just going to have to take it,” Large said.
Both Axelrad and Aza said their programs to reimburse abortion-related expenses take effect immediately.