Uber and Lyft extend legal expense coverage to drivers sued under Oklahoma’s upcoming abortion law

Both Uber and Lyft have pledged to cover legal costs in case their drivers are sued under Oklahoma’s restrictive abortion bill, according to a CNBC report. Although the bill has yet to be signed into law, Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt is expected to approve it in the coming days.

Oklahoma’s House on Friday passed the Heartbeat Act (SB 1503), a law that bans abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy — long before many women realize they’re pregnant — and now awaits signing. of Governor Stitt. Like a similar anti-abortion law recently passed in Texas, Oklahoma’s bill also gives individuals the right to sue anyone who “aids or abets the performance or incitement of an abortion.” This includes the clinic performing the procedure, as well as the person driving the woman to the medical building.

Both Lyft and Uber said they would cover legal fees for drivers after Texas passed its anti-abortion law in September, and now they’re doing the same for drivers in Oklahoma. Shortly after the bill passed the Oklahoma legislature, Lyft CEO Logan Green announced on Twitter that the company will “cover 100% of legal costs” for drivers prosecuted under the upcoming law.

“Women’s access to healthcare is under attack again, this time in Oklahoma,” Green said in a tweet. “Lyft drivers are once again caught in the middle just to get people where they need to go. We believe that transportation shouldn’t be a barrier to accessing healthcare and that it’s our duty to support our communities of riders and drivers.

Green also said the company is “working with healthcare provider partners to create a safe state program” that will cover travel costs for riders seeking out-of-state abortion care. Additionally, Lyft says it will cover travel expenses for insured Lyft drivers based in the United States who must travel more than 100 miles to get to an abortion clinic.

Although it has not yet been announced on Uber’s public channels, the company confirmed to CNBC that it plans to adopt a similar policy. “Like in Texas, we intend to cover all legal costs of any driver sued under this law while driving,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC. It’s unclear whether Uber also plans to cover travel costs for drivers or passengers traveling for an abortion. The edge contacted Uber with a request for comment, but did not immediately respond.

Earlier this month, Yelp announced that it would cover travel costs if employees (or their spouses) had to travel out of state for an abortion procedure. Salesforce has also offered to help employees relocate if they’re worried about abortion access in their state, while Texas-based group Bumble and Match has created a relief fund for women affected by the law. anti-abortion Texas.

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