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Lyft, Uber will cowl authorized charges for drivers sued underneath Oklahoma abortion legislation

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Lyft President John Zimmer (R) and CEO Logan Green converse as Lyft lists on the Nasdaq at an IPO occasion in Los Angeles March 29, 2019.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Lyft and Uber mentioned this week they may absolutely cowl authorized charges for his or her respective drivers who’re sued underneath Oklahoma’s anticipated restrictive abortion legislation.

The Oklahoma House on Thursday handed the Texas-style ban that prohibits most abortions after about six weeks of being pregnant, a time interval earlier than many ladies have even found they’re pregnant. The so-called Oklahoma Heartbeat Act now goes to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who is anticipated to signal it inside days.

Like the Texas legislation, individuals aiding the process, together with docs, individuals paying for the process and clinic staff are in danger. That contains rideshare drivers who could be punished for transporting ladies to clinics to obtain abortions, the place they may very well be fined as much as $10,000. Abortion rights activists and suppliers argue these legal guidelines successfully overturn protections set underneath Roe v. Wade in 1973.

“Women’s access to health care is under attack again, this time in Oklahoma,” Lyft CEO Logan Green mentioned in a tweeted statement. “Lyft drivers are once again caught in the middle just for getting people where they need to go. We believe transportation shouldn’t be a barrier to accessing health care and it’s our duty to support both our rider and driver communities.”

Lyft and Uber first introduced protections for drivers in Texas after its restrictive abortion legislation took impact in September. Now, the rideshare firms are extending that assist to drivers in Oklahoma.

“Like in TX, we intend to cover all legal fees for any driver sued under this law while they’re driving,” an Uber spokesman instructed CNBC in an electronic mail.

In addition, for girls in Oklahoma and Texas who search out-of-state abortion care, Lyft is working with well being supplier companions to create a “safe state” program that may cowl the prices of transportation to airports and clinics.

Lyft may even cowl journey prices for its staff enrolled in U.S. medical advantages, which embrace protection for elective abortion, if the legal guidelines require journey outdoors of Texas or Oklahoma to search out care.

“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 mentioned in a weblog submit.

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