Some national companies offer travel or relocation expenses for employees needing abortion care. But for small businesses, that’s not always an option.
INDIANAPOLIS — State lawmakers begin their special session on July 25, where they are expected to pass tighter restrictions on abortion. Several other states are planning to pass similar abortion bans.
In addition, some national companies have already announced that they will offer travel or relocation expenses to employees needing abortion care.
But for small businesses, that’s not always an option.
“It’s scary to talk about, but these are definitely things that small business owners need to think about,” Sarah St. Aubin said.
St. Aubin co-owns Futuro, a small pizzeria in downtown Indianapolis, with her husband. She said that when news broke of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, her team was ruined.
“All the staff were crushed because it means a lot to their wives or their partners or our female staff. Everyone knows a woman and it affects them a lot,” St. Aubin said.
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It was also personal for St. Auben. At 21, she lost her baby at 19 weeks but decided not to terminate her pregnancy.
“My situation is very unique, of course, because my child would not have made it after birth, but it was my choice. I can’t imagine making a woman feel these things that I felt every day,” St. Aubin said.
That’s why she made a Facebook post last week addressing the issue as a business owner, mother and Hoosier.
She said that adds new challenges for small businesses, especially those that don’t have as many resources.
“We’re going to have to continue to become more than just food servers. We are going to have to become mental health experts, and there is already a crisis in our nation for that. I’m not prepared to do that,” she said.
She is not alone. Other local businesses have weighed in on the issue, including Milktooth, Silver in the City and King Dough.
With the decision now up to state lawmakers, St. Aubin prepares for the “what ifs,” knowing her employees will always come first.
“I will do everything I can to support my employees in any decision they make, anything they need if this becomes illegal in our state,” she said.
RELATED: Hundreds of health professionals rally in support of abortion rights in Indiana
She also invited Governor Eric Holcomb to sit at her table and talk about the potential impact of the abortion ban.
“I love this city. I’m here for a reason, and so are the rest of my business owner friends who feel the same way I do. We are not here to make demands on people. We just want safe health care that everyone can access in Indiana,” she said.
Most large companies in Indiana have not made an announcement about their plans to offer resources to workers if Indiana passes the abortion ban.
However, Salesforce says it will continue to cover travel and relocation expenses for employees. This includes people at the regional headquarters in downtown Indianapolis. The latest figures show that Salesforce employs approximately 2,300 people in the city.