“Drivers shouldn’t be put at risk for getting people where they want to go," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a tweet.
Trigger Warning: This story mentions abortion that may be disturbing to readers.
Texas recently signed off on a regressive and controversial abortion law that prevents women from choosing to terminate their pregnancy after signs of a fetal heartbeat are detected, which can be picked up by ultrasound about six weeks from conception, reports Forbes. The law was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in May and went into effect on September 1, 2021, and the Supreme Court voted 5-4, allowing the abortion law to take effect.
The law also gives power to private citizens to enforce the abortion ban by issuing lawsuits to anyone who may be “aiding and abetting” an abortion. Patients may not be sued, but people aiding the procedure, including doctors, people paying for the procedure and clinic workers are at risk.
This also means that an innocent driver who takes a woman to an abortion clinic will be sued under the new guidelines. The fine is set at $10,000. According to PEOPLE, Texas now has the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
However, ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft said they will cover legal fees for drivers on their respective platforms who are sued under the law, per CNBC. “Drivers are never responsible for monitoring where their riders go or why. Imagine being a driver and not knowing if you are breaking the law by giving someone a ride,” Lyft said in a release.
“Similarly, riders never have to justify, or even share, where they are going and why. Imagine being a pregnant woman trying to get to a healthcare appointment and not knowing if your driver will cancel on you for fear of breaking a law. Both are completely unacceptable,” Lyft added, before announcing that its defense fund would cover 100% of legal fees incurred by drivers because of the law.
These companies are pushing back against the Texas abortion law https://t.co/CeAQsPHo6Q— CNN (@CNN) September 4, 2021
The company will also donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood to "ensure that transportation is never a barrier to healthcare access." Meanwhile, Lyft CEO Logan Green also shared on Twitter how the law is "an attack on women's access to healthcare and on their right to choose."
Shortly, Uber followed suit, and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a tweet that “Drivers shouldn’t be put at risk for getting people where they want to go. Team Uber is in too and will cover legal fees in the same way." Khosrowshahi then thanked Lyft "for the push.”
Good morning and Happy Saturday to everyone, especially Lyft and Uber who said they will cover legal expenses for any drivers sued under Texas' heinous abortion law.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) September 4, 2021
More big companies need to step up and act against that "law."
Texas-based dating company Match’s CEO Shar Dubey also revealed she's set up a fund for workers who need to travel out of state in order to have an abortion. Bumble, also Texas-based, said it would also launch a fund to support people trying to access abortion services in Texas.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Michael M. Santiago