More Than 50 Companies — Including Yelp, Lyft, Ben & Jerry’s — Speak Out Against Texas Abortion Law

Dozens upon dozens of companies (see complete list below) have criticized Texas' near-total ban against abortion Tuesday. They stated in an open letter that restrictions on reproductive care would be bad for business, hurt customers, and harm workers. This was the largest protest yet by the business community against controversial Senate Bill 8 (SB 8).

Texas State Capitol, Austin, Texas - September 11, 2011, at 11:15 a.m. Getty Images

The Key Facts

The letter, which was released by the group Dont Ban Equality does not specifically mention SB 8, but states that any restrictions on comprehensive reproductive care such as abortion restrictions has already adversely impacted the state's economy. They cite figures from the Institute for Womens Policy Research, which found that existing restrictions have caused the state of Texas economic losses of $14.5 billion each year. The letter claims that abortion and other restrictions that affect gender equality pose a risk to our families, communities and businesses, as well as the economy. The Wall Street Journal cites sources who have been familiar with the matter and reports that Microsoft and Starbucks declined to sign the letter.

Important Quote

The companies stated that policies that limit reproductive health care are against our values and bad for business. It hinders our ability build diverse and inclusive workforce streams, recruit top talent across the states, and protects the well-being all those who make our businesses thrive day in, day out.

Big Number

$105 billion According to the Institute for Womens Policy Research, this is the annual cost of state-level abortion restrictions on state economies. The organizers of the letters told the Wall Street Journal that they were trying to discourage other states from adopting Texas' abortion restrictions and passing similar legislation.

Complete List

The letter was signed by 52 companies: Yelp. Lyft. Patagonia. Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. Box Inc.., Asana. Madewell. Bumble. Benefit Cosmetics. Adya Partners. Syzygy Plasmonics Inc.., M.M.LaFleur. Brenda Thompson Communications. Mara Hoffmanman. Michael Stars. Civitech. Farmgirl Flowers. Medicines360. Adasina Social Capital. Trillium Asset Management LLC., Earth Equity Advisors.

Important Background

SB 8 prohibits almost all surgical abortions within six weeks of a pregnancy. This is the most severe abortion restriction in America since Roe v. Wade, which was decided in 1973. It guarantees the legal right and protections for abortion. Similar abortion bans across the country have been overturned, but SB 8 is controversially limited to private citizens. They can bring lawsuits against anyone who assists or abets abortions as some are doing. After some companies had taken individual stands against the law, Bumble and Match set up funds to cover Texas abortion costs. Uber and Lyft offered to pay legal fees for drivers who are sued for transporting people under the law. Bumble and Lyft signed Tuesday's letter. Uber and Match didn't. Salesforce, Inc. also stated it would help employees leave Texas under the law. Apple reportedly offered to cover medical expenses for employees in Texas who had to travel to Texas for abortions. It said it is monitoring legal challenges to the law. The letter was not signed by either company.

Continue reading

Texas Abortion Law Facing Rejection from Some Companies (Wall Street Journal).

Forbes: Bumble, Match Launch Funds to Cover Texas Abortion Costs

Uber and Lyft Offer to Pay Legal Fees for Drivers Sued under Texas Abortion Law (Forbes).