AUSTIN (KXAN) — A group of Republican state lawmakers are preparing a plan that would keep private companies from helping employees seek abortions outside of Texas, should Roe v. Wade be overturned, according to the Texas Tribune.
The Tribune reports a group of 14 GOP legislators within the State House of Representatives sent a letter to the CEO of Lyft last Wednesday.
The letter reportedly outlined a plan that would include the introduction of bills in the next legislative session that would ban companies from doing business in the state if they offer abortion-related health care.
The effort is being led by Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from KXAN on Monday.
In late April, Lyft CEO Logan Green tweeted the company would cover travel costs for employees who are enrolled in a medical benefit plan and need to travel more than 100 miles to find an in-network abortion provider.
Lyft also announced it would cover 100% of legal fees for drivers sued under both state’s abortion laws.
If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade, a state “trigger law” would ban nearly all abortion procedures in Texas, with the only exceptions being to save the life of the pregnant person or keep them from serious impairment.
Josh Blank with UT Austin’s Texas Politics Project said the letter to Lyft puts GOP leadership, including Gov. Greg Abbott, in a tricky position as they work to lure more companies to the Lone Star State and keep the ones already here.
That include Tesla, which has also said it would employees with out-of-state abortions.
“The relationship between the Republican Party and business has been strained in recent years, as businesses have felt compelled to take stances on a lot of social issues,” Blank said.
The Tribune reported at least half the lawmakers who signed the Lyft letter are members of the ultra-conservative Texas Freedom Caucus.
Blank said that is telling.
“I think there’s a reason that the current dustup with Lyft is coming from the Freedom Caucus in the Texas House and not directly from the governor,” he said.
KXAN reached out to Gov. Abbott’s office along with the offices of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan. None replied to a request for comment.