Tech Companies Fix Texas Abortion Policy

First came the statements from breeding organizations. Then came the tech companies.

A day after the Supreme Court ruled not to block a Texas law banning most abortions after six weeks, Dallas-based Match Group, which owns Tinder, OkCupid, and Hinge , sent a memo to its employees. “The company generally doesn’t stand for politics unless it’s related to our business,” he said. CEO Shar Dubey wrote. “But this time, I myself, as a woman in Texas, I can’t keep quiet.” The company has set up a fund to pay for travel expenses for employees requesting care outside of Texas. Bumble, which has a head office in Austin, set up a similar fund.

Senate Bill 8, which took effect last week, allows private citizens to prosecute anyone who “aids and aborts” an abortion, including providers, counselors, or even railroad drivers who delivers transportation to a clinic. Uber and Lyft, based in California, say they will cover the legal costs for drivers included in the law. “This law is inconsistent with people’s basic rights to privacy, our community guidelines, the spirit of rideshare, and our values ​​as a company,” Lyft wrote in a statement to the drivers. . The company also said it will provide $ 1 million to Placed Parenthood.

“We are very concerned about how this law will impact our state employees,” wrote Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp, which has an office in Dallas. Stoppelman had previously signed a Open letter in 2019 Calling abortion bans “bad for business,” with CEOs at Twitter, Slack, Postmates, and Zoom.

Such overtures have become more common in recent years, especially in well-known technology companies. Businesses in 2021 need to have a point of view, it seems, and use their platforms to push for policies on immigration, gay rights, and climate change. Last summer, to spark the Black Lives Matter protests, almost all major tech companies posted a statement condemning racism and vowing to support anti-racist work. “Silence can be collusion,” the official Netflix account said tweet. (Speaking does not protect companies from restraint on their own records, especially in diversity and inclusion.)

One could say that corporate opinions have become commonplace, at least among a certain class of company. Companies that have remained silent on SB 8-including some Texas-employed bosses-have denounced for not standing. Hewlett Packard, who moved headquarters from Silicon Valley to Houston last year, urged employees to “participate in the political process in which they live and work and make their voices heard through advocacy and the vote booth.” Abortion rights have become one of the most divisive issues in the United States: six in 10 Americans say it should be legal in all or most cases, according to a in a recent Pew survey; almost 4 out of 10 believe the opposite.

Several major firms have come out with full admiration for Texas law, which is one of the most restrictive in the country. (On Thursday, the Justice Department sued Texas to stop it.) When the head of Georgia -based video game company Tripwire Interactive tweet in support of the Supreme Court’s decision, he was criticized by thousands online, including some of his own employees. He soon stepped down from his post; the company issued a statement apologizing, and vowed to maintain “a more positive environment.”

For a tech company, a strong stance on social issues can be an additional brand, and even a recruitment tool. A LinkedIn survey, from 2018, found that most people would take a paycut to work anywhere commensurate with their costs.

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