The city of Portland, Oregon’s plan to boycott Texas goods and services over its new abortion law could cost Texas businesses millions of dollars a year, officials said Tuesday.
Office of Management and Finance spokesperson Heather Hafer said Portland has signed nearly $ 35 million in contracts with Texas-based companies over the past five years, The Oregonian / OregonLive reported.
She also said Portland employees have made 19 separate trips to Lonestar state on official business since 2019, a number she said would have been significantly higher had the trips not been interrupted for a year at the amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The information on the potential financial impact comes after Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Twitter on Monday called Portland to boycott Texas “a complete joke.”
“Texas’ economy is stronger than ever. We care about babies and the police, not them,” he wrote on the social media site.
Portland city council is due to vote on the measure on Wednesday, which would prevent the city from spending money with Texas businesses and ban employee travel around the state. The ban would be in effect until the state withdraws the legislation or the law is overturned by a court, according to city officials.
The law known as “Heartbeat Act”, which prohibits abortions beyond six weeks,Texas’ new law differs significantly from blocked laws in other states because it leaves enforcement to private citizens through prosecution instead of criminal prosecutors. Under the law, residents of the state can sue clinics, doctors, nurses, and even someone who drives a woman to get the procedure for at least $ 10,000.
On September 3, President Joe Biden criticized the law for creatingwhich allows citizens to sue anyone who assisted with an abortion. On the same day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promised that once the House returned from recess it will pass legislation that prohibits “medically unnecessary restrictions” on abortion services or facilities.
Meanwhile, a website created by anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life, where people could anonymouslyin Texas, was closed for the second time this week, abortion rights activists and was sued by Planned Parenthood.
Businesses have remained largely silent on the new legislation, although a handful quickly expressed their opposition.
Ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft said on September 3 that they would cover legal costs for any driver sued under the new Texas law.
Calling the abortion ban “an attack on a woman’s right to choose,” San Francisco-based Lyft said it had created a fund to cover 100% of the legal costs of drivers sued under the law as ‘they were driving on his platform. The company also announced that it will donate $ 1 million to Planned Parenthood.
“We want to be clear: Drivers are never responsible for monitoring where their drivers are going or why. Imagine being a driver and not knowing if you are breaking the law while driving someone,” Lyft said in a statement. Likewise, drivers never have to justify, or even share, where they’re going and why. Imagine you’re a pregnant woman trying to get to a medical appointment and not knowing if your driver will cancel you. for fear of breaking a law. “
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi responded to Lyft’s statement in a tweet announcing a similar policy for its drivers.
“Drivers shouldn’t risk getting people where they want to go,” Khosrowshahi wrote. Uber is also headquartered in San Francisco.
OKCupid does not agree with the abortion ban
Two Texas-based dating apps, both run by women, were the first to speak out against the , with the creation of a fund to help employees seeking abortions out of state.
“I immigrated to America from India over 25 years ago and have to say that as a resident of Texas I am shocked to now live in a state where female reproductive laws are over. regressive than most countries of the world, including India, ”Shar Dubey, CEO of Dallas-based Match Group, said in a September 2 note to employees. Match Group has several popular dating apps, including Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge, and PlentyOfFish, and has around 400 employees in Texas, according to the Dallas Morning News. .
CEO of video game maker TripWire Interactive, John Gibson, resigned from his post earlier this week afterfor Texas’ new abortion law, sparking an outcry on social media.
Gibson’s resignation, which the company said was “effective immediately,” came after Shipwright Studios, a company that works with TripWire to develop games, threatened to cancel contracts with the game maker, in a Remark posted on Twitter.