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Texas Republicans look to bar corporations that support women getting out-of-state abortions

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A gaggle of Republican lawmakers in Texas have pledged to introduce laws that will bar private corporations from doing business within the state in the event that they offer advantages or travel funds for workers in search of abortions in other states where the procedure is legal.

With abortions set to turn into robotically banned in Texas if Roe v Wade is overturned by the US Supreme Court next month, this recent escalation reflects how intent the state’s GOP lawmakers are to not only ban the procedure inside their very own borders, but severely hinder a person’s ability to access it outside state lines.

The 14 lawmakers who signed the proposal, led by state Rep Briscoe Cain, addressed their letter to Lyft CEO Logan Green in a press release made public Wednesday, The Texas Tribune reported.

“The state of Texas will take swift and decisive motion in the event you don’t immediately rescind your recently announced policy to pay for the travel expenses of girls who abort their unborn children,” the letter read.

In April, the ride-hailing CEO wrote on Twitter that his company stood behind providing women access to healthcare in states that had begun prohibiting abortion-related services and that he would similarly stand behind his employees who, similarly, had come under fire in states like Oklahoma and Texas, a state that in the autumn passed a law that enables private residents to sue anyone who “aids or abets” a prohibited abortion, akin to drivers.

“Women’s access to healthcare is under attack again,” Mr Green wrote. “We imagine transportation shouldn’t be a barrier to accessing healthcare and it’s our duty to support each our rider and driver communities,” he added before laying out that Lyft would cover 100 per cent of the legal fees for drivers facing lawsuits in Texas and Oklahoma.

The Lyft CEO also promised to cover travel costs for workers enrolled in the corporate’s medical plan who’re in search of out-of-state abortions for as much as 100-plus miles to “an in-network abortion provider”.

Mr Green’s announcement on Twitter arrived just days before a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court revealed that the landmark Roe v Wade ruling is about to be overturned, a call that can likely be officially announced later next month.

Within the weeks that followed from the leaked opinion, first reported on by Politico, dozens of executives from major American corporations began revealing their very own plans to support employees working and living in considered one of the 26 states that are “certain or likely” to ban abortion should the 1973 laws be overturned.

Firms like Amazon – which employs over 3,000 employees on the Austin Tech Hub, Tesla – which was recently celebrated by Texas Governor Greg Abbott for the opening of the state’s gigafactory, Apple, Starbucks and lots of other large American corporations have established large workforces within the state.

A whole lot of these corporations have also announced in recent weeks and months various levels of support for providing out-of-state abortion care.

While it’s unclear if the lawmakers, nearly half of whom hail from the far-right Texas Freedom Caucus, including the predominant sponsor, Mr Cain, who signalled their support for this bill would have the ability to get a majority, if it did pass, it could prevent these corporations from offering abortion-related care. And in the event that they did, there may very well be real legal implications.

The proposal, which the lawmakers signalled they’re preparing to introduce in the subsequent legislative session, outlines a piece where they intend to incorporate a stipulation that Texas shareholders of publicly traded corporations would have the ability to sue corporations or executives for providing abortion care.

The letter also states that one other legislative priority for the lawmakers is to empower district attorneys to prosecute abortion-related crimes outside of their home counties.

And, if the firms did determine to go ahead with offering it anyway, it could lead on to executives facing criminal prosecution, as Texas still retains pre-Roe anti-abortion laws that were never faraway from the legislature, the Tribune reported the legislators saying within the letter.

The Independent has reached out to Mr Cain and Governor Abbott for comment on the proposed bill.

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