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A sign at an Uber and Lyft pickup location. Photo: Stuart Cahill/MediaNewGroup/Boston Herald

Lyft and Uber will cover all legal fees for drivers sued under a new Texas law that imposed a ban on abortions after six weeks.

Why it matters: The law is one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the U.S., and prohibits the practice after a fetal heartbeat is detected — before many people know they are pregnant, Axios' Oriana Gonzalez writes.

The big picture: Lyft was the first rideshare company to announce that it would cover 100% of legal fees incurred by drivers due to the law. The company will also donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood.

  • Uber made an announcement to cover fees for drivers shortly after Lyft's announcement.
  • The ban allows anyone to sue a person suspected of helping a woman obtain an abortion.

What they're saying: “Drivers are never responsible for monitoring where their riders go or why. Imagine being a driver and not knowing if you are breaking the law by giving someone a ride,” Lyft said in a release.

  • Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted in response to Lyft's announcement that Uber would cover drivers' legal fees in the same way, thanking Lyft CEO Logan Green for taking the initiative.

Go deeper

Appeals court denies DOJ's request to suspend Texas abortion ban

People protesting Texas' abortion ban outside of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Oct. 2. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

A three-judge panel for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied the Department of Justice's emergency request to suspend Texas' abortion ban, which bars the procedure after a fetal heartbeat is detected, or roughly six weeks — before many people know they are pregnant.

Why it matters: The ruling allows the ban to continue to be enforced as the courts consider the law's constitutionality. It's one of the most restrictive bans to be enforced since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

Philly City Council passes ban on traffic stops for minor violations

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Philadelphia legislators passed a bill Thursday that aims to root out racial profiling by preventing cops from pulling over drivers solely for minor traffic violations.

What's happening: The bill, which the City Council passed 14-2, bans officers from pulling over drivers for so-called "secondary violations," such as driving with a broken taillight or without an inspection sticker.

Why it matters: Philly police are more likely to pull over Black drivers than white drivers.

  • Recent data shows 72% of drivers pulled over for alleged motor vehicle stops in Philadelphia are Black, at-large Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, the bills' main sponsor, said. However, Black residents only make up 42% of the city's population.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, which has been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin.

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