Targeting Texas: Businesses react to fetal heartbeat law, Hollywood celebs have thoughts

AP Photo/Eric Gay

The Texas fetal heartbeat law is a convenient diversion from the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan for Team Biden and its supporters. The bill was signed back in May by Governor Abbott yet there was no big dramatic reaction from really any corner against it. When the new law went into effect on September 1 it suddenly received the attention it lacked earlier. The usual suspects came forward with all sorts of hysteria but interestingly enough, businesses were very slow to react. Have corporations realized the folly of offending a portion of their customers who don’t appreciate businesses weighing in on social issues?

At first, the only two businesses to come forward were women-run. Bumble and Match Group (which owns Tinder) started raising money for a relief fund for Texas women seeking abortions. The fund is to support “the reproductive rights of women and people across the gender spectrum who seek abortions in Texas.” Note to Bumble and Match – only biological women give birth and would be seeking an abortion. The woke lingo of a gender spectrum doesn’t logically apply here. Anyway, the uniqueness of the Texas fetal heartbeat bill allows anyone to report others who provide abortions after six weeks, when the fetal heartbeat typically is detectable, or those who assist a woman in getting the abortion, like paying for the procedure. It can also include a person driving a woman to the clinic. Lyft and Uber stepped forward and said they would provide free rides to clinics in Texas.

Bumble is headquartered in Austin. “Bumble is women-founded and women-led, and from day one we’ve stood up for the most vulnerable,” the company said in a statement on Twitter. “We’ll keep fighting against regressive laws like #SB8.” The CEO of Match is also “a woman in Texas.”

In addition to Tinder, Match Group—which is also headquartered in Texas—also owns, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, and Hinge. CEO Shar Dubey said that the fund will be a critical resource for employees and their dependents in the event that they need to travel outside the state to obtain reproductive care.

“The company generally does not take political stands unless it is relevant to our business. But in this instance, I personally, as a woman in Texas, could not keep silent,” Dubey said in an internal memo obtained by Reuters. “Surely everyone should see the danger of this highly punitive and unfair law that doesn’t even make an exception for victims of rape or incest.”

Frankly, I, too, am a woman in Texas and I find it hard to believe that the law will survive. The Supreme Court gave it a limited reprieve but didn’t rule on its legality. Joe Biden, the devout Catholic, directed the Department of Justice to use all legal avenues to crack down on the law. The abortion issue is a favorite of Democrats to use against Republicans and conservative voters who are pro-life. Look for Democrats, from Joe Biden on down, to use the Texas bill to rev up the Democrat base for turn-out purposes in the mid-term elections.

Some corporations are beginning to speak out now that it has been a few days. Lyft and Uber say they will cover all legal fees for their drivers. They also pledge to donate $1M to Planned Parenthood. Lyft is also directing supporters to a website to raise money for Planned Parenthood. It’s one thing to protect the drivers, it’s another thing to actively raise money for Planned Parenthood.

Uber followed Lyft’s lead and promised to protect its drivers, too. It’s interesting the company’s CEO admits it took Lyft’s tweet to “push” Uber to protect its drivers.

GoDaddy shut down a website put up by Texas Right to Life. It was being used as a site for whistleblowers. Elon Musk didn’t want to weigh in on the heartbeat bill. Other companies are encouraging their employees to get involved in politics over the bill, as well as other Texas legislation like the election integrity bill and the conceal carry bill.

Companies also reacted to the Texas legislature this week passing the final version of a bill that outlaws drive-through and 24-hour voting locations and gives poll watchers more power, widely seen as restricting voting access.

“We hoped for a different outcome for this legislation, and we’re disappointed by this result,” an American Airlines spokesperson said in an email.

A spokesperson for Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co, based in Texas, said, “As a global company of 60,000 team members, HPE encourages our team members to engage in the political process where they live and work and make their voices heard through advocacy and at the voting booth.”

Meanwhile, a law allowing people to carry concealed handguns without any permit went into effect in Texas on Wednesday.

“Looking at the abortion law, or the gun law, or the voting law, it’s a form of vigilante justice, where you’re empowering individuals to enforce the law,” said Tyson Tuttle, the CEO of Austin-based Silicon Laboratories. “It’s been a rough week in Texas and a harbinger of what’s to come across the country.”

I wonder if the corporations would be encouraging political involvement by their employees if they realized that many may not be Democrat voters or abortion supporters. Liberals are quick to assume that everyone has the same political views. It is as though it doesn’t even occur to them that there are those who don’t support abortion, other than Republican politicians.

The fetal heartbeat bill hasn’t even had a chance to be challenged legally yet but that doesn’t stop the hysteria. Our moral betters in Hollywood quickly jumped into the fray. The ‘my body, my choice’ crowd that criticizes COVID-19 vaccine skeptics does not see the irony.

The Handmaid’s Tale is making a comeback by those who may or may not have actually read the book.

And Hillary, too, weighed in. Natch.

The Lincoln Project is comprised of professional Republican grifters who made livings off Republican candidates and the RNC for many years. Trump broke them, though, as their influence dried up in Republican politics. Now they reflexively live off disgruntled conservatives but mostly their new Democrat besties. They also wish to punish Texas, the nation’s largest red state. They aren’t just anti-Trump, they are anti-Republican.

David Strom 6:41 PM on September 26, 2022