Rideshare service Lyft is promising to cover all legal fees if any driver gets sued for bringing a woman to get an illegal abortion in Texas.
The company also donated $1 million to Planned Parenthood.
Under a new Texas abortion law, a woman cannot terminate her pregnancy after an ultrasound can detect a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy. There is an exemption for cases of medical emergencies.
Instead of being enforced by the government, it will be up to private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who aids a woman getting an abortion after the heartbeat has been detected.
As anyone who assists in obtaining an abortion is open to lawsuits, Lyft announced on Friday that they have launched a legal fund for drivers who may get caught up in a suit.
“TX SB8 threatens to punish drivers for getting people where they need to go— especially women exercising their right to choose,” Logan Green, the CEO and co-founder of Lyft, wrote in a tweet. “[Lyft] has created a Driver Legal Defense Fund to cover 100% of legal fees for drivers sued under SB8 while driving on our platform.”
This is an attack on women’s access to healthcare and on their right to choose. @Lyft is donating $1 million to Planned Parenthood to ensure that transportation is never a barrier to healthcare access. We encourage other companies to join us.
— Logan Green (@logangreen) September 3, 2021
Green announced that the company is donating $1 million to Planned Parenthood — and asked others to do the same.
“If you feel compelled to join us as an individual, Planned Parenthood is accepting donations to further this work,” he added with a link to Planned Parenthood.
Under the law, women will not face penalties for getting an abortion, but those who help facilitate it could be fined $10,000.
“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,” the company added in a release. “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.”
Proud of the team https://t.co/eC40eWqCxo
— John Zimmer (@johnzimmer) September 3, 2021
Lyft co-founder John Zimmer quote tweeted Green’s announcement and wrote that he is “proud of the team.”