Uber and Lyft have pledged to cover legal fees for any of their drivers if they get sued under a new restrictive Texas abortion law that prohibits them from aiding anyone in any stage of the abortion process.
Texas now has a risk-free financial incentive for any citizen who will help get doctors, abortion rights advocates, and anyone else suspected of helping pregnant women get an abortion into court.
The law will shield people who bring the civil lawsuits to court from having to pay fees, even if they lose, but it will not shield the defendants, who will also have to pay the legal bills of the people suing them as well as the additional $10,000 per abortion performed.
On Friday, Lyft's co-founder and CEO, Logan Green, tweeted that the company would cover 100% of legal fees for drivers who may be sued under SB8 while driving for the company.
"This is an attack on women's access to healthcare and on their right to choose," he continued in his thread. "@Lyft is donating $1 million to Planned Parenthood to ensure that transportation is never a barrier to healthcare access. We encourage other companies to join us," he announced.
And other companies also followed suit. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi pledged that his company would also protect its drivers from any legal action they face under the law.
Right on @logangreen - drivers shouldn’t be put at risk for getting people where they want to go. Team @Uber is in… https://t.co/RDZpXDyPP3— dara khosrowshahi (@dara khosrowshahi)1630701964.0
"Team @Uber is in it too and will cover legal fees in the same way," he tweeted. "Thanks for the push."
Lyft then published a blog post addressing the impacts of the Texas law.
"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 a healthcare appointment and not knowing if your driver will cancel on you for fear of breaking a law. Both are completely unacceptable."
The law has forced people to consider traveling out of state to carry out the procedure, making it extremely difficult for those who just don't have the finances to do so.
President Biden also spoke out against the law, claiming that it is "almost un-American" and its enforcement mechanism is a "vigilante system."
The CEO of Silicon Laboratories, Tyson Tuttle also spoke out about the issue: "Looking at the abortion law, or the gun law, or the voting law, it's a form of vigilante justice, where you're empowering individuals to enforce the law. It's been a rough week in Texas and a harbinger of what's to come across the country."
And the protests haven't stopped there...
As abortion providers filed an emergency request asking the Supreme Court to step in before the ban went into effect, they rushed to see as many patients as they could before the deadline. However, the request was denied.
Meanwhile, advocates also had their say: "Abortion is healthcare," said sixteen-year-old Valerie Beck. "It's a right that I believe all people should have access to. And when the governor and other people in Texas are trying to take away that right from people in this state, I think it's my job to stand up and speak my mind about it."
Let's just hope this law is thrown out very soon.