Lyft (LYFT) and Uber Technologies (UBER) have said that they will reimburse all legal expenses incurred by their drivers as a result of litigation brought against them under Texas’ anti-abortion statute, SB 8.
In a blog post on its website on Friday, Lyft led the ride-sharing charge against the bill, announcing that it has established a driver legal defense fund to pay 100 percent of legal expenses for drivers sued under Texas’ anti-abortion law.
The San Francisco-based firm also announced a $1 million donation to Planned Parenthood to assist in guarantee that transportation is never an impediment to treatment.
Because “this statute is incompatible with people’s basic rights to privacy, our community rules, the spirit of ridesharing, and our beliefs as a company,” Lyft announced it will pay the driver legal defense fund and donate to Planned Parenthood.
Lyft CEO Logan Green also revealed the company’s plans on Twitter, prompting Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to concur with Green in a tweet and declare that Uber, located in San Francisco, will reimburse its drivers’ legal expenses in the same way.
In a tweet, Khosrowshahi stated:
Right on @logangreen – drivers shouldn’t be put at risk for getting people where they want to go. Team @Uber is in too and will cover legal fees in the same way. Thanks for the push. https://t.co/85LhOUctSc
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) September 3, 2021
Lyft claimed the new law “threatens to penalize drivers for getting individuals where they need to go – especially, women exercising their right to choose and get the healthcare they need” in a blog statement.
“Let’s be clear: drivers are never responsible for monitoring where or why their passengers travel. Imagine being a motorist and not knowing if giving someone a lift is against the law,” the statement stated.
“Riders, likewise, are never required to justify or even discuss where they are going and why they are there.
Imagine being a pregnant lady trying to go to a doctor’s appointment and not knowing if your driver would cancel on you because he or she is afraid of breaching the law. “Both are totally inappropriate,” according to the statement.
SB 8 in Texas prohibits abortions beyond six weeks of pregnancy and permits citizens to sue abortion providers or anybody who assists a person who violates the law. The law took effect on Wednesday after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by opponents of the bill who sought an emergency order to stop it. The court stated that the plaintiffs needed to handle key procedural issues appropriately.
Opponents of the bill can still challenge it in federal or state courts in Texas, according to the judgment.
For the next two weeks, Travis County District Court Judge Maya Guerra Gamble issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Texas anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life from suing Planned Parenthood employees under the statute. The issue will be heard on September 13th.
After hours on Friday, Lyft’s stock fell 0.4 percent to $48. In the regular session, the shares fell 2.2 percent to $48.21. In after-hours trading on Friday, Uber shares climbed 0.3 percent to $40.42. In the regular session, the stock had dropped 2.6 percent to $40.32.