Texas Abortion Law (SB 8)
By Maheen Maiya
On May 19th Texas Gov. Greg Abbot signed the law to make abortion illegal. This law was to take effect on September 1st. The abortion law, also known as SB 8, bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, which is also when most people find out they are pregnant. The law “provides no exception for rape or incest” (Stewart, Vox, 2021) and makes it illegal “for anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion...including a friend or family member who gives a woman a ride to a clinic, or abortion care providers who provide non-medical services” (UltraViolet, 2021). Many corporations took part in this law by either supporting/sponsoring this law or opposing it.
“Recent data revealed that 86 companies in the Fortune 250 gave $5.9 million to candidates seeking office in the Texas Legislature in 2020 and seven of those companies gave over $100,000 to sponsors of the abortion laws” (Sheffey, Business Insider, 2021) some of the well-known companies that sponsored SB 8 are: AT&T, UnitedHealth Group, Union Pacific, and Chevron. In a Businessinsider article, UnionPacific stated that they “[have] history of giving to political candidates on both sides of the aisle in compliance with national and state rules. ‘‘[considering the] criteria beyond those that directly impact rail operations and business metrics when evaluating contributions, and [review giving] to all candidates annually’...Chevron…[also] told Insider in a statement that engages with ‘numerous elected representatives who take positions on a range of issues. We are not always aligned with all their views’” (Sheffey, 2021) Well-known companies that opposed SB 8, are Bumble, Match, Tinder, Lyft, and Uber. Lyft and Uber spoke out because their drivers can be sued for driving people to get an abortion. Lyft CEO, Logan Green, created a “driver defense fund to cover legal fees for drivers and that the company would donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood. He called SB 8 ‘an attack on women’s access to healthcare and on their right to choose. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also said his company would cover drivers’ legal fees”(Stewart, Vox, 2021). In addition, “President Joe Biden said this law ‘blatantly violates’ Roe v. Wade and how this law would “significantly impair” access to essential healthcare, especially for people of color and low-income communities'' (Sheffey, BusinessInsider,2021).
“If the federal courts ultimately allow this law to stand it’s very likely that other conservative states will move to pass similar laws (McCammon, NPR, 2021)” Dr.Bhavik Kumar, a family medicine doctor at Planned Parenthood in Houston, discussed with NPR about the law and how the ban would make patients go outside of Texas to seek an abortion but he mentions how many people don’t have the ability to go out of state and that is what makes him worried. No matter what your views on abortion are. It is important to be informed about our society and how it affects us.
AT&T funded Texas ABORTION BAN! UltraViolet. (n.d.). Retrieved September 8, 2021, from https://act.weareultraviolet.org/sign/HB1515_ATT/?t=6&akid=50813.4114115.RKcMkF.
McCammon, S. (2021, September 1). What the Texas Abortion Ban does - and what it means for other states. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2021/09/01/1033202132/texas-abortion-ban-what-happens-next.
Sheffey, A. (2021, September 2). Companies like AT&T and UnitedHealth donated over $100,000 to the Texas lawmakers behind its new abortion law. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/att-unitedhealth-companies-donated-texas-lawmakers-abortion-law-2021-9.
Stewart, E. (2021, September 7). On the Texas abortion law, corporate America stays quiet. Vox. https://www.vox.com/the-goods/22660973/texas-abortion-lyft-att-godaddy-uber-bumble.