Washington D.C., Sep 23, 2021 / 16:01 pm (CNA).
Yelp, an online directory for food and businesses, is reportedly planning to “double match” employee contributions to pro-abortion groups opposing the new Texas Heartbeat Act, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Texas Heartbeat Act, which went into effect on Sept. 1, prohibits most abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat and is enforced through private lawsuits. Women who have an illegal abortion cannot be sued under the law.
More companies have begun speaking out against the law in recent days, and Yelp will now reportedly double match employee donations to Planned Parenthood, or similar organizations, in October. Yelp did not respond to CNA’s request for a comment by publication.
When the Texas law originally went into effect on Sept. 1, few companies were quick to speak out.
Ride-hailing services Lyft and Uber were two of the earliest corporations to enter the debate. Lyft, in a Sept. 3 statement, said the law “is incompatible with people’s basic rights to privacy, our community guidelines, the spirit of rideshare, and our values as a company.”
Now, however, a new collaboration of brands and organizations have signed a joint statement against the pro-life law, called “Don’t Ban Equality in Texas: It’s time for companies to stand up for reproductive healthcare.” The companies say that restricting abortion goes against their values and is “bad for business.”
Yelp was one of the 52 companies to sign the statement, along with Patagonia, Ben and Jerry’s Homemade inc., Bumble, Lyft, VICE media group, and others. The companies stated that “restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence, and economic stability of our workers and customers.”
According to the joint statement, abortion restrictions cause economic losses which cost the state of Texas $14.5 billion. The statement added that “nationally, state level restrictions cost state economies $105 billion dollars per year,” citing the Institute for Women’s Policy research.
“The future of gender equality hangs in the balance, putting our families, communities, businesses and the economy at risk,” the statement said.
According to the Washington Post, “according to people familiar with the matter, Starbucks and Microsoft Corp. declined to be included in the statement.
The CEO of Salesforce.com., Marc Benioff, told ABC News in an interview that his company would help Texas employees move out of the state “if they don’t like where they are.”
The Wall Street Journal also reported that it viewed an email from the CEO of Dell Technologies to employees, which said, “There is a lot happening in Texas right now. We’re all feeling it.”
The email from CEO Michael Dell reportedly said that “There’s much we still don’t know about how all of these laws will ultimately play out.”
In response to the Texas law going into effect, President Joe Biden promised a “whole-of-government” effort to maintain abortion in Texas. The Justice Department subsequently filed a lawsuit in federal court over the law, saying the state acted “in open defiance of the Constitution” in restricting “most pre-viability abortions.”
This week, a Texas doctor was sued by two non-Texas residents after he admitted to performing an abortion in violation of the state law. The case appears to be the first legal action taken under the law.