Lyft or Uber will pay legal fees to any driver who is sued under the Texas anti-abortion law.
Greg Abbott, the Texas governor, signed the new law this week. It bans abortions of fetuses within six weeks, which is when most women are not aware they are pregnant. There are no exceptions for incest or rape. Private citizens can sue anyone involved in aiding or abetting abortions beyond six weeks, including clinics and anyone who has paid for them.
The law permits people to sue anyone who aids and abetts abortions that have been performed in the past six weeks.
Lyft CEO Logan Green, co-founder of Lyft, tweeted that this was an attack on women's right to healthcare and their freedom to choose. Lyft will create a driver legal defence fund to pay 100 percent of legal fees for drivers who are sued under the new law. Lyft will also donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood in order to ensure that healthcare access is not impeded by transportation.
Right on @logangreen, drivers should not be at risk of getting people to where they want. Team @Uber is also in and will pay legal fees. We appreciate your support. https://t.co/85LhOUctSc dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) September 3, 2021
Soon after, Uber CEO Dara Khoroshahi tweeted that his company would do the same. He wrote that [D]rivers should not be at risk of getting people where they want to be. He said that Uber would cover legal fees the same way, citing Greens tweet. Thank you for the push.
Uber and Lyft announced their plans after Match Group, which owns Tinder, had created a fund to help women who are seeking abortions. In an internal memo, Shar Dubey, CEO of Match Group, stated that the company does not generally take a political stand unless it is directly related to our business. In this case, however, I couldn't keep silent as a Texas woman.
After the Supreme Court's conservative majority, which included Chief Justice John Roberts, declined to intervene and stop the restrictive law from taking effect, pressure was intensified on Texas-based companies to act. Despite calls for them to relocate, corporations have so far only announced reactive measures such as defense funds.
Protocol heard this week from Evan Greer, director at Fight for the Future digital rights group, that it is possible that the law could lead to an explosion in requests for information by tech companies about users who may have assisted someone getting an abortion.