Uber and Lyft announced Friday that they will pay legal fees for drivers who are being sued by Texas' restrictive abortion law.
The law prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. This is a period in which many women are not aware they are pregnant.
While patients may not be sued for malpractice, those who aid the procedure (doctors, people who pay for it, and clinic workers) are at risk. This includes rideshare drivers, who could face a $10,000 fine for transporting women to abortion clinics.
"Drivers are not responsible for monitoring the movements of their riders or why they do so," Lyft stated in a release. Imagine yourself as a driver, not knowing if you are violating the law by giving someone rides," Lyft stated in a release.
Riders don't have to share or justify their route. Imagine a pregnant woman trying get to a doctor's appointment, and not knowing if her driver will cancel because of fear of breaking a statute. Both of these are unacceptable," Lyft said.
Advocates for abortion rights and providers claim that the law overturns 1973 Roe v. Wade protections.
Lyft, the first rideshare company to do this, stated that its defense fund would pay 100% of legal fees incurred due to the law. Lyft will also donate $1,000,000 to Planned Parenthood.
Uber quickly followed suit, announcing that it would also pay fees.
"Drivers should not be at risk to get people where they want." Uber Team is also in and will pay legal fees. "Thanks for the push," Uber CEO Dara Khorowshahi tweeted.
The matter has been largely ignored by corporations. Texas-based dating sites Bumble and Match's CEO SharDubey replied to the measure Thursday by announcing relief funding.
"Surely everyone should be able to see the dangers of this harsh and unfair law, which doesn't make any exception for victims of incest or rape. Dubey sent this memo to employees this week, stating that he would hate for the state to make this major step back in women’s rights.
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