DALLAS — Dallas-based Match Group CEO Shar Dubey is establishing a fund to assist employees and their dependents in seeking abortion care in other states following a near-total ban on abortions that went into effect in Texas this week.
The Match chief executive notified employees of the fund in an email obtained by The Dallas Morning News.
“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 wrote, giving employees notice of a statement she had provided to news media about the new legislation.
“I am generally appreciative of the different arguments of this very complicated issue and am respectful of the personal experiences and beliefs that inform the different opinions. But this particular law is so regressive to the cause of women’s rights that I felt compelled to speak publicly about my personal views,” Dubey wrote.
In the letter, Dubey also announced that she is setting up a fund to benefit the company’s Texas-based employees or their dependents who “find themselves impacted by this legislation and need to seek care outside of Texas.”
Match Group owns a number of massively popular dating apps, including Tinder, Hinge and PlentyOfFish as well as dating apps like BLK for Black singles and Chispa for Latinos. The company has nearly 400 employees in Texas.
SB 8, which took effect this week, makes it illegal to get an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy and deputizes private citizens to bring lawsuits against anyone who aids and abets an individual seeking an abortion. Critics of the bill have said most women do not know they are pregnant at six weeks, and abortion rights advocates warn that it would effectively make 85% of abortions performed in the state illegal.
In a CNBC appearance Tuesday morning, Gov. Greg Abbott defended the state’s stance on abortion, arguing that it will “accelerate” the trend of businesses relocating to Texas.
But the state can expect more business leaders to step up in support of employees affected by the restrictive abortion bill in the coming weeks, University of Kansas professor Alesha Doan said.
“Prior to the legalization of abortion in 1973, there were organizations that set up networks to help women find out information about abortion, find out how to give an abortion, find out where they could go to get one that was safe,” said Doan, who has researched and authored articles and books on abortion policy, abortion law and the tactics of anti-abortion activists.
“Reading Shar’s statement immediately reminded me of that — that these these organizations and networks existed prior to the legalization of abortion, and they continue and will grow in this kind of context as well.”
Austin-based dating app Bumble also announced that it has set up a similar fund to support employees seeking abortion.
“Bumble is women-founded and women-led, and from day one we’ve stood up for the most vulnerable. We’ll keep fighting against regressive laws like #SB8,” the company said in a tweet.
This is Match CEO Shar Dubey’s full letter to employees:
Today –SB8 went into effect in Texas. This law effectively prohibits abortion after 6 weeks, even in cases of rape and incest, and allows individuals to sue doctors or any private citizen who helps a woman obtain an abortion.
Since we are a Texas based company, we were asked by the media to comment. As I have said before, 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 and have made this statement that you might see covered over the next few days.
I’m not speaking about this as the CEO of a company. I’m speaking about this personally, as a mother and a woman who has fervently cared about women’s rights, including the very fundamental right of choice over her body — this is a very sad day. I immigrated to America from India over 25 years ago and I have to say, as a Texas resident, I am shocked that I now live in a state where women’s reproductive laws are more regressive than most of the world, including India. 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. I would hate for our state to take this big step back in women’s rights.
I am generally appreciative of the different arguments of this very complicated issue and am respectful of the personal experiences and beliefs that inform the different opinions. But this particular law is so regressive to the cause of women’s rights that I felt compelled to speak publicly about my personal views.
I also wanted to let you know that I am setting up a fund to ensure that if any of our Texas-based employees or a dependent find themselves impacted by this legislation and need to seek care outside of Texas, the fund will help cover the additional costs incurred. More details will follow. And as always, it is important to remember that at Match Group, we have these difficult conversations with empathy and respect.
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