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Did Lyft Announce Legal Aid for Drivers Caught Up in Texas Abortion Ban?

In September 2021, the U.S. Supreme Courtroom declined to dam the implementation of a controversial Texas state regulation that successfully bans most abortions, prompting an outraged response amongst Democrats, pro-choice activists, celebrities, and a few sectors of company America. 

Texas Senate Bill (S.B.) 8, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Could 19 and applied on Sept. 1, bans any and all abortions after the “first detectable heartbeat” of a fetus, an occasion that may happen as early as six weeks into being pregnant. It additionally permits a personal citizen to sue any lady who undergoes an abortion after this level, or anybody who assists her, no matter whether or not the citizen has any private connection to these people.

In line with a broadly shared Fb put up, one of many main U.S. corporations to announce its opposition to the regulation was the ride-sharing app Lyft. On Sept. 4, Fb consumer Izabella Kordalewski posted what seemed to be a screenshot of a letter from the corporate, addressed to “Lyft riders and drivers,” criticizing S.B. 8 as “incompatible with people’s basic rights to privacy.”

The letter additionally promised to offer monetary help to Lyft drivers who change into caught up in the enforcement of the regulation by transporting girls who’re on their strategy to acquire an abortion, in potential violation of S.B. 8. Kordalewski launched the letter by writing, “Dear friends. Here is a screenshot of an email I received from Lyft yesterday. Go make good choices.” The letter itself learn as follows:

Pricey Lyft Riders and Drivers,

A brand new Texas regulation, SB8, threatens to punish drivers for getting folks the place they should go – particularly, girls exercising their proper to decide on and to entry the healthcare they want.

We need to be clear: Drivers are by no means accountable for monitoring the place their riders go or why. Think about being a driver and never realizing in case you are breaking the regulation by giving somebody a experience. Equally, riders by no means should justify, and even share, the place they’re going and why. Think about being a pregnant lady attempting to get to a healthcare appointment and never realizing in case your driver will cancel on you for concern of breaking a regulation. Each are utterly unacceptable.

This regulation is incompatible with folks’s primary rights to privateness, our neighborhood tips, the spirit of rideshare, and our values as an organization. We’re taking motion on two fronts:

  1. Lyft has created a Driver Legal Protection Fund to cowl 100% of authorized charges for drivers sued beneath SB8 whereas driving on our platform. Riders and Drivers: Nothing about the way you drive, experience or work together with one another ought to change.
  2. TX SB8 is an assault on girls’s proper to decide on. Lyft is donating $1 million to Deliberate Parenthood to assist make sure that transportation is rarely a barrier to healthcare entry.

When you really feel compelled to hitch us as a person, you can also make a donation right here.

That letter was fully genuine, so we’re issuing a ranking of “True.”

On Sept. 3, Lyft shared the letter on its own website, stipulating that it was signed by co-founders Logan Inexperienced and John Zimmer, in addition to the corporate’s common counsel, Kristin Sverchek. The hyperlink included in Kordalewski’s screenshot directed readers to a Deliberate Parenthood donation web page. 


Sources:

Cole, Brendan. “Reese Witherspoon, Pink, Lead Celebrity Outrage over Texas Abortion Bill.” Newsweek, 4 Sept. 2021, https://www.newsweek.com/abortion-texas-six-weeks-witherspoon-planned-parenthood-petition-1626137.

“EXPLAINER: The Language, Reach of New Texas Abortion Law.” AP NEWS, 3 Sept. 2021, https://apnews.com/article/abortion-technology-health-texas-us-supreme-court-85f0a113234774771bb6c2a7e51391cc.

“Texas SB8 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature.” LegiScan, https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB8/2021. Accessed 8 Sept. 2021.

“Texas-Based Dating Apps Launch Funds to Help Women Affected By Abortion Ban.” Snopes.Com, https://www.snopes.com/news/2021/09/05/dating-apps-abortion-ban/. Accessed 8 Sept. 2021.

Untitled. https://www.lyft.com/blog/posts/defending-drivers-and-womens-access-to-healthcare. Accessed 8 Sept. 2021.

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