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American Firms Speak Out Against Law Changes In Texas, Including The New Abortion Law

American Firms Speak Out Against Law Changes In Texas, Including The New Abortion Law
Displeasure on issues such as the new Texas laws on abortion, handguns, and voting limitations were expressed by a host of the companies in the United States which includes the likes of Lyft Inc, American Airlines Group Inc and Silicon Laboratories Inc, this week. This is being viewed as renewed efforts of some companies to showcase their firm commitment to social responsibility.
All legal expenses for driver of the ride hailing companies Lyft and Uber Technologies Inc will be covered by the firms in the event of a case being filed against then under the new law that virtually imposes an almost complete ban on abortion, the companies said.
Lyft’s chief executive Logan Green said on Twitter that the company will also donate $1 million to women's health provider Planned Parenthood. "This is an attack on women's access to healthcare and on their right to choose," Green said of the new Texas law.
In response to Green’s announcement that the firm will provide cover for drivers' legal fees, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted that his company would also provide cover n a similar way and thanked Green for his initiative.
The new abortion law implemented last Wednesday in Texas allows any private citizen to enforce the law instead of government officials. Any individual citizen is allowed to file a case against anyone who provides or "aids or abets" an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. This also potentially includes drivers of ride hailing companies who could unknowingly ferry a woman for an abortion procedure.
An announcement of setting up of funds to aid their Texas-based employees who want an abortion to get the same outside of Texas was made earlier in the week by Tinder-owner Match Group's CEO and its rival dating platform Bumble Inc.
Meanwhile, a Texas anti-abortion website that was built to allow people to Texas anti-abortion website was shut down by the website hosting service GoDaddy Inc Friday this week.
This slew of reactions to the Texas abortion law comes at a time when many American companies are trying to re-establish their credential in areas of corporate and environmental governance among customers.
Earlier this week, there were also reactions from several American companies on the Texas legislature passing the final version of a bill that banned drive-through and 24-hour voting locations, giving more power to poll watchers which is viewed widely as restricting voting access.
"We hoped for a different outcome for this legislation, and we're disappointed by this result," an American Airlines spokesperson said in an email.
"As a global company of 60,000 team members, HPE encourages our team members to engage in the political process where they live and work and make their voices heard through advocacy and at the voting booth," said a spokesperson for Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co, based in Texas.
In the meantime, Texas also saw the enactment last week of a law that allows residents to carry concealed handguns without any permit.
"Looking at the abortion law, or the gun law, or the voting law, it's a form of vigilante justice, where you're empowering individuals to enforce the law," said Tyson Tuttle, the CEO of Austin-based Silicon Laboratories. "It's been a rough week in Texas and a harbinger of what's to come across the country."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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