Uber and Lyft have pledged to cowl the authorized charges for any of their drivers who could also be sued below a new, restrictive Texas law for serving to a pregnant individual get to a clinic for an abortion after 6 weeks of gestation.
SB 8, which went into impact Wednesday after the Supreme Court took no motion to cease it, takes intention at anybody who “aids and abets” an abortion after 6 weeks, together with a physician, a benefactor who pays for the process, or somebody who drives the affected person to a clinic. It additionally creates a form of bounty in that the ban cannot be enforced by authorities officers, solely by means of lawsuits filed by members of the general public. And those that do file a lawsuit are shielded in the event that they lose; defendants must pay their authorized payments along with a $10,000 penalty per abortion.
Advocates concern the legislation can have a chilling impact on service suppliers who is likely to be afraid of getting sued. But on Friday, Lyft’s cofounder and CEO, Logan Green, tweeted that the corporate would cowl “100% of legal fees for drivers sued under SB8 while driving for [the] platform.” He additionally pledged to donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood and decried the legislation as an assault on ladies’s rights.
“This is an attack on women’s access to healthcare and on their right to choose,” Green wrote. “We encourage other companies to join us.”
Less than two hours after Green’s announcement, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi pledged that his firm would additionally defend its drivers from the monetary prices of any authorized motion they face below the abortion ban.
“Team @Uber is in it too and will cover legal fees in the same way,” he tweeted. “Thanks for the push.”
For years, the 2 ride-hail opponents have fought lawsuits and pushed for legal guidelines which have allowed them to maintain drivers as unbiased contractors. Doing so has helped the businesses keep away from paying for advantages like healthcare, unemployment insurance coverage, and legal responsibility protections.
After Green introduced Lyft’s plan, the corporate revealed a weblog put up addressing the attainable impacts of the Texas legislation.
“We want to be clear: Drivers are never responsible for monitoring where their riders go or why,” the post reads. “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 legislation has already had important impacts, forcing folks to think about touring out of state, making the process out of attain for many who lack the monetary assets. On Friday, President Joe Biden known as the legislation “almost un-American” and its enforcement mechanism a “vigilante system.”