Lyft Inc. plans to create a legal defense fund for drivers in response to a Texas law that severely restricts abortions and donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood, the ride-hailing company’s chief executive said Friday.
Lyft LYFT, -2.21% CEO Logan Green made the donation announcement on Twitter on Friday:
In a blog post, Lyft also said it has created a legal defense fund for drivers to cover 100% of their legal fees if they are sued under S.B. 8, the Texas law that the Supreme Court recently declined to block, and prohibits abortions once cardiac activity can be detected, about six weeks into a pregnancy.
Under the Texas law, private citizens can sue anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion that is performed after the six-week gestation period, potentially putting not just Lyft drivers, but any driver, at risk of a lawsuit for transporting a person to an abortion procedure.
“We want to be clear: Drivers are never responsible for monitoring where their riders go or why,” Lyft said. “Imagine being a driver and not knowing if you are breaking the law by giving someone a ride.”
“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,” the rideshare company said in a statement. “Both are completely unacceptable.”
Request for comment from Lyft competitor Uber Technologies Inc. UBER, -2.61% were not returned as of the time of publication.