Some big businesses have taken stands against a a new law in Texas that effectively bans abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy.
SB 8, the new law, impacts about 85 percent of abortions performed in the state, according to activists — forcing those seeking the procedure to travel outside the state, carry fetuses to term or attempt to end their pregnancies without medical supervision. The law also deputizes private citizens and incentivizes them with promises of $10,000 payouts for successfully suing anyone who gets an abortion or helps a pregnant person out.
One of the first large companies to respond has been GoDaddy. Those who want to report on people getting or aiding in abortions had initially been told to do so using a website available through its hosting service. Last week, the company took it down, stating via Twitter that Texas Right to Life, which first launched the site, had “violated GoDaddy’s terms of service and have 24 hours to move to a different provider.”
Meanwhile, rideshare services Lyft and Uber both announced plans to fully cover legal fees for drivers who transport pregnant people to clinics. In a statement, Lyft said SB 8 was “incompatible with people’s basic rights to privacy, our community guidelines, the spirit of rideshare, and our values as a company,” and pledged to make a donation to Planned Parenthood.
And dating apps Bumble and Match have publicly vowed to create relief funds for those negatively impacted by the law. Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd told CNN that the aim is to support “the reproductive rights of women and people across the gender spectrum who seek abortions in Texas.”
Others still have spoken out against the new law — which went into effect when the U.S. Supreme Court failed to grant an emergency request to block it, a move the court later doubled down on by way of an official order — via official statements, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.
But those on the ground in Texas are wishing for a lot more from the nation’s biggest businesses. “Corporate America hasn’t really responded. They’ve been silent,” Aimee Arrambide, executive director of Texas-based abortion advocacy group Avow, told MarketWatch.
“There’s still so much stigma, that they don’t want to talk about it. They shy away from it under the guise of it being too political,” she added. But “if businesses actually take a stand, that would be so powerful.”