CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Multiple companies have pledged support for Texas women and even their employees from any and all legal repercussions related to the state’s new law prohibiting abortions.
Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft announced they’ll cover the legal fees of any driver who is sued under the new law.
The Texas law is being met with mixed reactions — from the inside of doctor’s offices to outside state buildings, protests over the Texas law, pegged a “fetal heartbeat bill,” can be seen across the nation.
The law blocks women’s ability to get an abortion at six weeks if a heartbeat is detected in the womb, which is often before women know they’re pregnant — even in cases of rape or incest. The only exception is the risk of death or “a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”
The law also allows private citizens to sue anyone involved in an abortion, from the performing doctor to the Uber driver who drove the patient to the clinic. Anyone who successfully sues another person in an abortion case is entitled to $10,000.
The law leaves enforcement up to individual citizens, giving them the power to sue anyone who “aids or abets” and abortion. The monetary damages could add up to $10,000 for anyone who wins a case.
“The way I see it, someone needed to stand up,” said Monica Faulkner, a Texas social worker.
Faulkner is now suing the state over the new law. She’s concerned about how it could affect her when she helps victims of sexual assault by just talking with them about their options.
“The bill defines aiding and abetting an abortion very vaguely,” Faulkner said.
Rideshare drivers who unknowingly take women to clinics for abortion procedures could also face a lawsuit.
Lyft CEO Logan Green called the ban “an attack on women’s access to healthcare and on their right to choose.” The company also said it would donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood.
“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,” Lyft said in a statement.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi responded to Lyft’s statement in a tweet announcing that the company too would cover drivers’ legal fees.
“Drivers shouldn’t be put at risk for getting people where they want to go,” Khosrowshahi wrote. Uber is also headquartered in San Francisco.
Match Group, an online dating service provider, announced its setting up a fund to help Texas-based employees seek abortion care outside the state. The Dallas-based business has more than 45 global dating companies, including Tinder, Match.com, OkCupid, Hinge, and Plenty of Fish.
Dating app Bumble also announced on Instagram it will donate funds to six organizations that support women’s reproductive rights.
Texas Right To Life, a pro-life organization, encourages people to report suspected abortions using a whistleblower website that promises to “ensure that these lawbreakers are held accountable for their actions.”
Website hosting service GoDaddy shut down the site; however, the site was picked up by rival service Epik.
NewsNation reached out to several major businesses for their reaction; some said they would rather not be involved in the matter; others remain silent.
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