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Ride-hailing apps Lyft and Uber said they will cover all the legal fees of any of their drivers who are sued under Texas’s restrictive new abortion law.
The law, which went into effect this week, bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. It lets private citizens sue anyone who helps someone obtain an abortion, including by providing a ride to a clinic. That’s raised concerns that ride-hailing drivers could be sued simply for transporting passengers.
“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 on Friday.
“Similarly, riders never have to justify, or even share, where they are going and why. Imagine being a pregnant woman trying to get to a healthcare appointment and not knowing if your driver will cancel on you for fear of breaking a law. Both are completely unacceptable.”
The statement was signed by Lyft CEO Logan Green, President John Zimmer and General Counsel Kristin Sverchek.
Green described the law on Twitter as “an attack on women’s access to healthcare and on their right to choose.”
He said Lyft is also donating $1 million to Planned Parenthood “to ensure that transportation is never a barrier to healthcare access.”
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on Twitter that Uber would follow Lyft’s lead.
“Team @Uber is in too and will cover legal fees in the same way. Thanks for the push,” he wrote, quoting Green’s announcement of Lyft’s driver defense fund.
The Texas-based dating app Bumble said this week it’s creating a fund to support reproductive rights and help people seeking abortions in the state. The CEO of Match, which owns dating apps including Tinder and is also based in Texas, said she would personally create a fund to help employees and their dependents who are affected by the law.