Rideshare drivers fear lawsuits and liability in Oklahoma’s new Texas-style abortion ban

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Oklahoma’s new abortion ban has Oklahoma rideshare drivers worried on Friday.

Rideshare drivers roam the streets of Oklahoma constantly coming and going from different destinations. One such driver raised concerns with KFOR about the recently signed abortion law in Oklahoma that would allow private citizens to sue someone who helps a woman get an abortion.

“It’s scary,” said Betty Green, driver for Uber and Lyft. “I mean, it’s scary for all of us.”

After 23 years in the taxi industry and nearly four years driving for Uber and Lyft, Green said she never thought her job would potentially be in the crossfire.

Betty Green, carpool driver. Photo by KFOR.

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a Texas-style abortion ban this week banning abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. The law also allows private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps a woman obtain one for up to $10,000.

Green said the last part is what makes her fear liability if she were to unknowingly conduct the proceedings.

“When I pick someone up, I have no idea where they’re going,” she said. “We can’t ask them, are you going to have an abortion? You know, we can’t ask them that. As I said before, we can’t ask them if they got shot, let alone if they’re going to have an abortion.

The signing of the law comes days after a draft opinion from the US Supreme Court was leaked. The draft showed the court was considering weakening or striking down Roe v. Wade, which is the landmark decision legalizing abortion in the country. Both Uber and Lyft said they would pay legal fees for any drivers sued.

Green said that while it eased the burden a bit, it didn’t necessarily make her feel better, with this job being her way of life.

“It’s my only job. This is how I pay all my bills, buy my groceries, buy my car,” Green said. “I have to go to court and keep going to court and keep going to court. It’s going to stop me from making money and it’s going to stop all the other drivers from picking up people there who need us.

Uber and Lyft aren’t the only companies covering the costs. Levi, Apple and Amazon say they will cover out-of-state travel costs.