Texas Republicans v. Business community: on access to abortion
Texas Republicans have long boasted that their pro-business policies are the cornerstone of the state’s booming economy. But recently, a war appears to be brewing between Republican lawmakers and corporations that aren’t so thrilled with the party’s backward social stances.
The latest battle is between a group of Texas Republican lawmakers and Lyft CEO Logan Green. In a letter to Green, 14 lawmakers, led by state Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park), pledged to take “swift and decisive action” against Lyft if they fail to overturn their new policy to help women seek abortion care. . The Texas Tribune reported that lawmakers pledged to introduce bills to “prohibit corporations from doing business in Texas if they pay for abortions in states where the procedure is legal.” The letter also promised policies that would open executives to legal action and prevent access to abortion through health insurance.
This follows Green April 29 announcement of Lyft’s new policy via tweet, where Green promised to cover legal costs for drivers sued under SB 8, expand abortion access through Lyft’s health care plan, and seek ways to cover out-of-state travel costs for Texas women seeking abortions.
This is not the first time that companies have spoken out against the barbarism of the Texas Republicans. In 2017, Texas business leaders spoke out fervently against the anti-transgender restroom bill that would block restroom access for transgender people. This uproar from the business community arguably led to the quiet death of the bill later that year.
Similarly, following the crackdown on access to abortion championed by Republicans in Texas, corporations seem unhappy with this shift towards a dystopian society. Major companies – including Amazon, Citigroup, Apple and Starbucks – recently pledged support for those seeking access to abortion, expanded health care plans and covered travel costs in a bid to reprimand the laws restricting access to reproductive health care. Notably, Tesla, which is based in Texas, is also among these companies. The company recently released a policy that provides “travel and accommodation assistance for those who may need to seek health services that are not available in their home country.” Although the policy does not explicitly mention the word “abortion”, access to abortion would be included in this offer.
While it’s unclear whether or not the measures threatened by Republican lawmakers will pass, if Cain’s policies are in fact proposed and enacted by the Texas government, it will definitely have massive negative ramifications with respect to the economy. and the state’s business environment. In a state where Republican lawmakers praise their “business-friendly practices” as re-election tools, we will now see how much they are willing to sacrifice for their blatant war on women’s health.