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Fifty Companies Condemn Texas Abortion Law for Threatening Employees’ ‘Economic Stability’

Texas State Capitol in Austin. (SusanRisdon/Getty Images)

More than 50 companies have signed a statement condemning a new Texas law that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The statement, which was organized by a coalition called Don’t Ban Equality, argues that “restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence, and economic stability of our workers and customers.”

It was signed by dozens of companies, including Yelp, Lyft, Stitch Fix, Trillium Asset Management LLC, Zendesk and Atlassian Corp. Several of the businesses aren’t Texas-based, though a number of them have operations or employees in the state.

The statement adds that the new law “impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out.”

The controversial legislation allows any individual to sue anyone who knowingly performs or aids an abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected. Plaintiffs can earn up to $10,000 in damages through litigation.

Jen Stark, senior director of corporate strategy for the Tara Health Foundation, which helped coordinate the statement, told the Wall Street Journal that “laws like these are just bad for the business climate of the state.”

Trevor Best, the CEO of Syzygy Plasmonics Inc., which focuses on developing technologies for the energy industry, said he signed the statement because he is worried the law will make it harder to recruit candidates from other states.

“I’m trying to get them to move to Texas, and they see this, and they have to think about their families and their daughters, and is this where they want to grow their family?” Best told the paper. “It’s challenging.”

Meanwhile, some companies declined to sign the statement, including Starbucks and Microsoft.

After signing the statement, Yelp reportedly plans to announce that the company’s foundation will double match employee contributions in October to groups that are fighting the Texas law, including the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood.

Earlier this month, Lyft and Uber announced that they will pay the legal fees for any of their drivers who are sued under the law.

Lyft, which signed the coalition’s statement, announced it would create a defense fund to completely cover any legal fees incurred by drivers because of the law and also pledged to donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood.

Salesforce.com offered to relocate its employees in Texas who are worried about access to reproductive healthcare in the state, while the CEO of online dating company Match Group, Shar Dubey, sent a message to staff expressing her opposition to the measure and created a fund for those affected by the law.

Online dating company Bumble also created a fund for employees affected by the law and signed the letter. Match, however, did not sign the statement.

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