Companies Uber and Lyft announced Friday they will cover legal fees for drivers sued under the law prohibiting most abortions in the state of Texas.
Texas recently became the first state to enact a “heartbeat” abortion law, banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, according to Breitbart News.
“Rather than be enforced by government authorities, the law gives citizens the right to file civil suits and collect damages against anyone aiding an abortion — including those who transport women to clinics,” the Associated Press reported.
Lyft said it set up a fund to cover 100 percent of legal fees for drivers sued under the law while driving for its platform and also announced it would donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood.
“A new Texas law, SB8, threatens to punish drivers for getting people where they need to go — specifically, women exercising their right to choose and to access the healthcare they need,” Lyft said in a statement:
We want to be clear: 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. 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.
The new TX law #SB8 is incompatible with people’s basic rights to privacy, our community guidelines, the spirit of rideshare, and our values as a company. A message from our founders: https://t.co/nG3OV1XSVt
— Lyft (@lyft) September 3, 2021
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reacted to Lyft’s announcement in a social media post, writing, “Team @Uber is in too and will cover legal fees in the same way”:
Right on @logangreen – 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. Thanks for the push. https://t.co/85LhOUctSc
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) September 3, 2021
Planned Parenthood reacted to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to block the Texas law by claiming the state was “forcing people to stay pregnant.”
Xochitl Rodriguez, philanthropy officer of Planned Parenthood in El Paso, reacted to the law, stating, “The state of Texas is forcing people to stay pregnant against their will.”
However, Abby Johnson, author of Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line, said Friday on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily the Texas abortion law would lessen the number of women hurt by the “tragedy of abortion.”
She noted, “[They are] not listening to the voices of these women who are saying, ‘I had an abortion. I deeply regret that decision.’”