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SF-Based Yelp Offers To Pay Travel Fees For Its Oklahoma Employees Seeking Abortions

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) - After Oklahoma's governor signed into law a bill that basically bans all abortions in the state, San Francisco-based tech company, Yelp, announced it will pay for its employees to travel out of state for services.

"We want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country," said Republican Governor Kevin Stitt as he signed into law one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country. It says an abortion can only be performed when it is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, and any doctor who violates the law could be charged with a felony and sent to prison for 10 years.

Now, Yelp is offering to pay travel expenses for any of it's approximately 200 employees in Oklahoma to go out of state to terminate a pregnancy.

Texas enacted a law 6 months ago banning abortion as soon as there is a fetal heartbeat, usually around 6 weeks, prompting a number of companies including Apple, Levi Strauss, Match Group (the parent company of and dating apps Tinder and OkCupid), as well as Citigroup to announce they would pay travel fees for employees to go out of state for an abortion.

Jessica Pickney, Executive Director of Access Reproductive Justice insists everyone should be allowed to access the medical care they need without having to leave their community or their home state.

"It's absolutely great that they're willing to do that. Unfortunately, the people who are most impacted, they tend to be low income," said Pickney. "They tend to be black and brown folks, those are not necessarily the people who are working at the Fortune 500 companies."

"Abortion is not necessary for women's health or success," said Mary Rose Short with California Right to Life.

Short believes the companies offering to pay travel expenses should reevaluate their priorities.

"Do these same companies offer to provide childcare if a woman decides to keep her baby? Do they do anything at all for mothers with born children or are they only offering to pay for mothers, because these are mothers, for mothers to have their children killed?" she asked

There are currently 8 bills working their way through the state legislature that would make California a sanctuary state for abortion rights. It comes as more than 20 other states are considering legislation to limit them.

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