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U.S. companies lash out at Texas law changes, including abortion ban

Published Sep 03, 2021 04:39PM ET Updated Sep 04, 2021 05:05PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. Logan Green, co-Founder and CEO of Lyft speaks at the WSJTECH live conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S. October 22, 2019. REUTERS/ Mike Blake 2/2
 
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By Tina Bellon and Jessica DiNapoli

AUSTIN, Texas/NEW YORK (Reuters) -U.S. companies including Lyft Inc (NASDAQ:LYFT), American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) Group Inc and Silicon Laboratories (NASDAQ:SLAB) Inc voiced their displeasure on Friday at new Texas laws on abortion, handguns, and voting limitations, a fresh sign of increased efforts by some firms to signal their commitment to social responsibility.

Lyft and Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) Inc said they will cover all legal fees for the ride-hail companies' drivers sued under a law that puts in place a near-total ban on abortion.

Lyft will also donate $1 million to women's health provider Planned Parenthood, chief executive Logan Green said on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) https://twitter.com/logangreen/status/1433872421254098945?s=20.

"This is an attack on women's access to healthcare and on their right to choose," Green said of the new Texas law.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted https://twitter.com/dkhos/status/1433894081487273987?s=20 in response to Green's announcement that his company would cover drivers' legal fees in the same way, thanking Green for taking the initiative.

The ban https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-supreme-court-declines-block-texas-abortion-ban-2021-09-02, which took effect Wednesday, leaves enforcement up to individual citizens, enabling them to sue anyone who provides or "aids or abets" an abortion after six weeks. This potentially includes drivers who unknowingly take women to clinics for abortion procedures.

On Wednesday, Tinder-owner Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH)'s CEO and rival dating platform Bumble Inc said they were setting up funds to help Texas-based employees seeking abortion care outside the state.

Website hosting service GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) Inc on Friday, meanwhile, shut down a Texas anti-abortion website that allowed people to report suspected abortions.

The reaction to the law change in Texas comes at a time when many companies are seeking to burnish their corporate and environmental governance credentials with consumers.

Companies also reacted to the Texas legislature this week passing the final version of a bill that outlaws drive-through and 24-hour voting locations and gives poll watchers more power, widely seen 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.

A spokesperson for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) Co, based in Texas, said, "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."

Meanwhile, a law allowing people to carry concealed handguns without any permit went into effect in Texas on Wednesday.

"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."

U.S. companies lash out at Texas law changes, including abortion ban
 

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Comments (35)
taylor jason
taylor jason Sep 05, 2021 11:12AM ET
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once again another instance of Texas proving they are 30 years behind modern times.
Jose Sousa
Jose Sousa Sep 05, 2021 12:00AM ET
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Baby murderers crying for not being able to *******like they were used to. Sick people.
Patron Silver
Patron Silver Sep 04, 2021 9:49PM ET
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hick texan: I won't wear a mask or get vaccinated but u should raise that child by yourself for the next 18 years
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Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Sep 04, 2021 9:49PM ET
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Patron Silver Your a mistake yourself and a dreadful human.
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Sep 04, 2021 9:49PM ET
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Patron Silver Have you ever watched an ultrasound of a baby while being aborted. Imagine what you would look like while helpless and being extinguished.
Matt Goodwin
Matt Goodwin Sep 04, 2021 9:49PM ET
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Patron Silver wow, you are not very bright. The baby isn’t my responsibilty anymore than me having a baby is your responsibility. But, those dont want to take responsibilty shouldnt be allowed to murder the baby. Also, women still have 6 weeks to abort. You should try to be a decent human being.
Patron Silver
Patron Silver Sep 04, 2021 9:49PM ET
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as if a women even knows shes pregnant at six weeks. smh. u really are a m.o.r.o.n when did the taliban come here to tell women what to do. and by the way it will be ur responsibility when that child has no support structure growing up. but u will sit there and complain about that won't u
Patron Silver
Patron Silver Sep 04, 2021 9:49PM ET
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typical scare tactic by repubs they use on their supporters with little minds. sorry bubs try it on someone else
Patron Silver
Patron Silver Sep 04, 2021 9:30PM ET
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so is Texas going to fund orphanages will the single moms be on their own. Sounds like a repeat of all that hasn't worked. Good job Texas. No one is behind you
Matt Goodwin
Matt Goodwin Sep 04, 2021 9:30PM ET
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Actually everyone is. You dems are as filthy as they get. Cant believe you convinced an entire party to believe killiing a baby is the right choice to make.
Patron Silver
Patron Silver Sep 04, 2021 9:30PM ET
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yeah greasy haired guys that don't know the first thing about taking care of a child are for this.
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Sep 04, 2021 8:06PM ET
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Not true and unfounded. Still just as easy to off babies in TX, just gotta get on it a bit earlier. Also, waaaaay easier to vote today in EVERY state than it was even 10 years ago. This is all more fascist whining.
Privacy Please
WTIHedge Sep 04, 2021 5:53PM ET
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Being a native of Texas I can tell you the economy is more and more driven by Austin Dallas and Houston. As the oil economy becomes less relevant TX over the next decade you will see a state politically closer to Colorado. These outlandish laws ars the last grasp for power by a dying dynasty
Privacy Please
WTIHedge Sep 04, 2021 5:53PM ET
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Obviously not many of the rocking chair crowd lives in Tx
Matt Goodwin
Matt Goodwin Sep 04, 2021 5:53PM ET
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Privacy Please obviously most people are decent enough to oppose to understand democrat policy has destroyed everything its ruled. Some people just dont like killing babies… go figure. You’re pretty revolting.
Javier Vargas
Javier Vargas Sep 04, 2021 5:52PM ET
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And yet they agree with Uighur concentration camps 200%
Ethel Basset
Ethel Basset Sep 04, 2021 5:27PM ET
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Don’t care about any of these companies.
Sep 04, 2021 5:18PM ET
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lash out at a law? not possible. lashing out at conservatives!
Ben Brown
Ben Brown Sep 04, 2021 4:39PM ET
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Commitment to social responsibility ???? Yes what could be more socially responsible than snuffing out the little lives of future consumers.(sarc) Texas is the model of the future.
 
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