The proposed aid comes after the state’s ban on abortions after six weeks, when most women are not aware they are pregnant, came into effect. Exceptions are not granted for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
Civil action may also be taken in the state against anyone who has, provides or enables an abortion to take place, such as doctors or anyone who drives someone to a clinic. Private citizens can seek damages for up to $10,000.
According to research from the University of Texas, the ramifications of the law will not be felt equally, as those on low incomes will be more negatively affected due to the costs involved of leaving the state to get a legal abortion. Illegal abortions are also predicted to rise, with the World Health Organisation stating that 13 per cent of maternal deaths are a result of such abortions.
In light of this, two companies have vowed to offer relief funds to their employees are known for dating apps; Bumble and Match Group.
Austin-based Bumble announced it was going to make a relief fund to help its employees looking to terminate their pregnancies.
“Starting today, Bumble has created a relief fund supporting the reproductive rights of women and people across the gender spectrum who seek abortions in Texas,” the company said in a statement.
“Bumble is women-founded and women-led, and from day one we’ve stood up for the most vulnerable. We’ll keep fighting against regressive laws like #SB8,” the company wrote on its Twitter account.
Bumble is women-founded and women-led, and from day one we’ve stood up for the most vulnerable. We'll keep fighting against regressive laws like #SB8.
— Bumble (@bumble) September 1, 2021
In addition, a Bumble spokesperson directed The Independent to several grassroots abortion funds it was urging people to support. These included Fund Texas Choice, National Network of Abortion Funds and Frontera Fund.
Shar Dubey, the CEO of Match Group, issued a memo to staff that she would personally establish a relief fund for members of staff based in Texas and any dependents who were required to get family planning treatment outside of the state. The firm is based in Dallas, and owns and operates numerous dating apps; including Match, Hinge and Tinder.
In the letter, first reported by Bloomberg, Ms Dubey said:, “As I have said before, the company generally does not take political stands unless relevant to our business. But in this instance, I personally, as a woman in Texas, could not keep silent.”
It continued: “Surely everyone should see the danger of this highly punitive and unfair law that doesn’t even take an exception for victims of rape or incest. I would hate for this state to take this big step back in women’s rights.”
The Independent contacted Match Group for further comment.
This comes as the federal government vocalised the unconstitutional nature of the law. President Biden described it as “unconstitutional chaos”, and said that he was looking into options within the Justice Department to “insulate women and providers” on 2 September.
Along with this, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, floated the idea of a “codification” of Roe v Wade, the 1973 US Supreme Court ruling that granted women across the country the right to abortion. This would involve passing a vote through Congress bringing women’s right to choose as federal law.
After the US Supreme Court voted to not block the law by five votes to four, Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated the law was “a breathtaking act of defiance – of the constitution, of this court’s precedents and of rights of women seeking abortions throughout Texas”.
However, Texas’ governor Greg Abbot said that the state “will always defend the right to life”.