It was announced Friday that both Uber and Lyft will cover the legal costs of drivers who are suing under Texas’ restrictions on abortion law that went into effect this week.
Many women are unaware that they’re pregnant until six weeks after conception, which is when most abortions are unlawful.
Drivers of Uber and Lyft will be covered by Uber’s and Lyft’s legal fees
In some cases, patients may not be liable, but those who help with the procedures, such as doctors, those paying for the procedures, and those working at the clinic may. Those who transport women to clinics for abortions can be fined $10,000 if they are convicted. That includes rideshare drivers who transport women to clinics for abortions.
“Drivers do not have any responsibility to watch where their riders go or why they go there. If you are a driver and don’t know if giving someone a ride is against the law, Lyft said in a statement.
“Riders never even have to justify or explain where they go or why they do as well. Suppose you’re going to a healthcare appointment when you’re pregnant, and your driver cancels on you out of fear of breaking the law. Lyft added, “Both are totally unacceptable.”.
In effect, abortion rights activists claim the law overrules the protective provisions under Roe v. Wade.
The first ridesharing company to do so is Lyft, who says their defense fund will cover 100% of legal fees incurred by drivers due to the law. Planned Parenthood will also receive $1 million from the company.
Uber followed quickly by announcing it would cover fees as well.
“Drivers should not be put in danger to transport people to their destinations. Uber is also participating in the lawsuit and will cover its legal fees. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi thanked the company for the support in a tweet.
The corporate world has been relatively silent on this issue so far. Each company issued relief funds after the measure was announced, including Texas-based dating sites Bumble and Match.
Following Bumble and Match Group (which owns Tinder), Uber and Lyft announced they would provide support funds to women seeking abortions.
Reuters obtained an internal memo from Match Group CEO Shar Dubey saying the company is not prone to political statements unless they serve its interests. However, in this case as a woman in Texas, I could not keep silent.” Both companies are based in Texas.