Lyft and Uber said Friday they would pay legal fees for drivers on their respective platforms sued under the Texas restrictive abortion law that went into effect this week.
The law prohibits most abortions after six weeks of gestation, before many women even realize they are pregnant.
Patients cannot be sued, but people who assist in the procedure, including doctors, people who pay for the procedure, and clinic staff are at risk. This includes passengers who can be fined for transporting women to clinics for abortions, where they can be fined $ 10,000.
“Drivers are never responsible for monitoring where their drivers are going or why. Imagine being a driver and you don’t know if you’re breaking the law by picking someone up, ”Lyft said in a press release.
“Similarly, drivers never have to justify or even communicate where they are going and why. Imagine if you were a pregnant woman trying to get to a doctor’s appointment and not knowing if your driver is going to cancel you for fear of breaking the law is totally unacceptable, “added Lyft.
Activists and abortion rights providers argue that the law effectively removes Roe’s 1973 protection against Wade.
Lyft said its defense fund would cover 100% of legal fees incurred by drivers due to the law and will be the first ridesharing company to do so. The company will also donate $ 1 million to Planned Parenthood.
Uber soon followed that it would pay fees as well.
“Drivers shouldn’t be exposed to the risk of getting people where they want to go. Team Uber is there too and pays legal fees in the same way. Thanks for the boost,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a tweet.
The corporations have so far remained relatively silent on this topic. Shar Dubey, CEO of Texas-based Bumble and Match, responded to the measure Thursday and announced relief funds.
“Surely everyone should see the danger of this highly punitive and unfair law, which does not make an exception even for victims of rape or incest. I would hate it if our state takes this huge step back into women’s rights,” Dubey wrote in a memo to the staff this week.
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