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Uber and Lyft to cover legal fees of drivers sued under Texas abortion law

Abortion ban goes into effect in Texas
Abortion ban goes into effect in Texas, outlawing almost all procedures 04:49

New legislation in Texas bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and threatens legal repercussions for those who may help with the procedure — including rideshare drivers. On Friday, Uber and Lyft each said they'll cover the legal fees of drivers who are sued for driving passengers to the outlawed healthcare procedures.

"This law is incompatible with people's basic rights to privacy, our community guidelines, the spirit of rideshare, and our values as a company," Lyft's co-founders and general counsel said in a statement

The rideshare company has created a Driver Legal Defense Fund that will cover all legal fees for drivers sued under Texas' abortion law while using its platform. Lyft also said it will donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood "to help ensure that transportation is never a barrier to healthcare access."

The law, which is the most restrictive measure on abortion in the nation, went into effect this week and allows private citizens to sue anyone who "engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion." Under the legislation, ride-sharing drivers who drive passengers to their abortion procedures could face fines exceeding $10,000. 

Lyft called the law "an attack on women's right to choose."

"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," Lyft said. 

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said his company will also follow suit and "cover legal fees in the same way" as Lyft.

"Drivers shouldn't be put at risk for getting people where they want to go," Khosrowshahi said on Twitter Friday. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week promised to take up legislation enshrining the right to abortion into federal law. She called the Supreme Court's refusal to block the Texas law a "cowardly, dark-of-night decision to uphold a flagrantly unconstitutional assault on women's rights and health is staggering."

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