Private companies are lashing out against the state of Texas for the legislature's passage of a law that essentially bans abortion after a heartbeat is detected, at roughly six weeks of gestation. Specifically, it allows private citizens to sue abortion providers as well as anyone "aiding and abetting" the process.
The ride-sharing service Lyft says the new law "threatens to punish drivers for getting where they need to go." Its main concern is that Lyft drivers could be held liable for giving someone a ride. "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," Lyft said in its press release.
According to CNBC, a rideshare driver could be held liable for up to $10,000 if prosecuted for helping a woman in the process of getting an abortion.
The main actions are outlined by Lyft in its announcement.
The company's Driver Legal Defense Fund is slated to cover all the legal fees for any driver sued under the Texas heartbeat law. "Riders and Drivers: Nothing about how you drive, ride or interact with each other should change," Lyft stated. Lyft said the abortion bill is an "attack on women's right to choose," so the company is also donating a million dollars to Planned Parenthood.
Lyft's main competitor Uber announced it is enacting a similar coverage scheme as well. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Lyft helped inspire the company's own action.
When asked about the Texas abortion law that the Supreme Court let stand, President Joe Biden said he doesn't agree that life begins at conception. Moreover, he swore that the Biden administration's Justice Department was looking into what actions at the federal level could be taken to combat the state's decision.