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Tag: greg abbott

With Over 62,000 Dead, Abbott Outlaws Vaccine Mandates In Texas

Republicans are celebrating a new executive order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, which bans all private companies in the state from requiring that their employees or customers receive the COVID-19 vaccine — even if the company has already implemented vaccine requirements.

"Texas continues to be the FREEST state in the country," Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who served as the White House physician under multiple presidents before being elected to Congress, tweeted in response to Abbott's order. "God Bless the GREAT State of Texas!"

Other Republicans echoed Jackson's sentiments."It is so important that Texas do this," Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) tweeted of Abbott's order. "Hey #TXLege [Texas Legislature] - you must stand with @GovAbbott and with Texans who are having their livelihoods threatened by corporate and federal government tyrants. #DoNotComply #FreedomNotMandates #HealthcareFreedom."

"Governor Abbott did what he had to do in order to protect Texas businesses," Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) said on Fox News Tuesday morning.

Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio implored his own Republican governor to issue the same ban, tweeting, "This is the sort of leadership Ohio needs. Good governments defend freedom."

Abbott announced the vaccine mandate ban even though his state's department of health is urging residents to get the vaccine, which data shows is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 transmission, hospitalization, and death.

Abbott said in his executive order that while the COVID-19 vaccine is "strongly encouraged," mandates are "yet another instance of federal overreach."

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas public schools already require that all students be vaccinated against polio; measles, mumps, and rubella; diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis; hepatitis A and B; varicella; and meningococcal disease.

Just 52 percent of Texas residents are fully vaccinated, a percentage that lags far behind those of highly vaccinated states in the Northeast and on the West Coast. And the state just experienced another deadly wave of the virus, bringing the total number of people who have died of COVID-19 in Texas to 68,057, according to data from the New York Times.

Major companies based in Texas have already mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for their employees. They include American Airlines, which is headquartered in the Lone Star State and is one of the largest employers in Texas, as well as many large hospital systems.

A federal judge in Texas ruled in June that the Houston Methodist hospital system in Texas could require its employees to be vaccinated, after some workers sued to block the vaccination rule. Houston Methodist said it was the first hospital system in the country to require the vaccine and that getting vaccinated was part of the "duty as health care professionals to do no harm and protect the safety of all of us — our colleagues, our patients and our society."

Experts say Abbott's ban on vaccine mandates likely violates the supremacy clause in Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, which says that federal law trumps state law.

The Biden administration already announced vaccine mandates for health care workers whose employers receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements, as well as for any contractors that do business with the federal government.

It's unclear whether Abbott's order will be quickly challenged in court.

But opposing vaccine mandates has become the cause du jour for GOP politicians.

Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a similar executive order in Florida. But after a cruise line sued to be able to require passengers to provide proof of vaccination, a federal judge granted a temporary injunction halting enforcement of the order.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

'Abort Abbott': Texas Rally Launches Wave Of Pro-Choice Protests

By Richard Webner and Julia Harte

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) -Women's rights advocates gathered at the Texas Capitol on Saturday to protest against the country's most restrictive abortion law, launching a series of 660 marches around the United States in support of reproductive freedom.

A crowd of more than 1,000 protesters assembled in sweltering heat in front of the building where lawmakers earlier this year passed a measure that bans abortions after about six weeks, which Governor Greg Abbott later signed.

"Abort Abbott" appeared on several of the demonstrators' signs and T-shirts, while others sported the Texas state slogan, "Come and Take It" next to a drawing of a uterus.

"Our vision for Texas is still rugged and resilient," Ann Howard, a commissioner of Travis County, which includes Austin, told the crowd. "But it's also open and inclusive and compassionate. Our Texas safeguards individual freedoms."

In Washington, D.C., protesters were set to march to the U.S. Supreme Court two days before the court reconvenes for a session in which the justices will consider a Mississippi case that could enable them to overturn abortion rights established in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case.

In a 5-4 decision on September 1, the justices denied a request from abortion and women's health providers to block enforcement of the near-total ban in Texas.

"This is kind of a break-glass moment for folks all across the country," Rachel O'Leary Carmona, executive director of Women's March, said before most of the demonstrations that the group organized got under way.

"Many of us grew up with the idea that abortion would be legal and accessible for all of us, and seeing that at very real risk has been a moment of awakening," she said.

Carmona said the number of marches scheduled for Saturday is second only to the group's first protest, which mobilized millions of people around the world to rally against former President Donald Trump the day after his inauguration in 2017.

The coast-to-coast marches were set to include not only Austin, but other cities in Texas, a flashpoint in the nation's battle over abortion rights.

The state's so-called "heartbeat" law, which went into effect on Sept. 1, bans abortion after cardiac activity is detected in the embryo, usually around six weeks. That is before most women know they are pregnant and earlier than 85% to 90% of all abortions are carried out, experts say.

Texas also lets ordinary citizens enforce the ban, rewarding them at least $10,000 if they successfully sue anyone who helped provide an illegal abortion.

In the month since the law was enacted, hundreds of women in Texas have driven to other states for abortions, while others have sought abortion-inducing pills by mail or visited "crisis pregnancy centers" that encourage women not to get abortions. Abortion clinics are struggling to survive as patient visits decline and some staff quit.

Abortion rights advocates and the U.S. Justice Department have challenged the law in state and federal courts, arguing that it violates Roe v. Wade.

A federal judge in Austin on Friday heard the Justice Department's request https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-administration-urge-halt-strict-texas-abortion-law-2021-10-01 to block the law temporarily while its constitutionality is challenged.

(Reporting by Richard Webner in Austin and Julia Harte in New York; Writing by Peter Szekely; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Daniel Wallis)

New Poll Shows Most Texans Oppose Third Term For Abbott

Most Texas voters do not want to see Republican Gov. Greg Abbott reelected in 2022, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

The survey, released Tuesday, found 51 percent of registered voters in the state do not believe Abbott deserves a third term. Just 42 percent said he deserves reelection. Back in June, the same pollster found 48 percent opposed to his reelection and 46 percent in favor.

For the first time since Quinnipiac began polling Texans in April 2018, more voters disapproved of Abbott than approved, by a margin of 47 percent -44 percent. Voters said, 48 percent -45 percent, that the governor is taking the state in the wrong direction.

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New Texas Law Shields Online Hate Speech, Terror Threats, And Holocaust Denial

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

It's been a busy couple of weeks for the one-star state. In addition to gaining the cooperation of the Trump-flavored Supreme Court to strip away women's rights, Gov. Greg Abbott has been right on top of the threat to the coronavirus, promising to protect COVID-19 from any effort to slow its spread. It's that kind of dedication that has allowed Texas to both seize the top spot from Florida in new cases and hospitalizations, and support the local mortuary industry with more than 400 deaths per day.

Truly, for Texas energy speculators and mortuary truck rentals, Abbott has brought on a golden age. But even though the governor spent much of his day complaining that President Joe Biden insisting that people get vaccinated was a violation of the rights of businesses—unlike executive orders that forbid companies from requiring that people get vaccinated—he did have time for other things.

One of those things was signing HB 20, a bill that severely limits the ability of large social media platforms to remove disinformation, harmful propaganda, hate speech, and incitement of violence.

This bill is a response to the mythical claims that social media sites are somehow suppressing conservative speech, despite repeated analysis that shows that these sites actually selectively promote conservative voices and place conservatives in positions of power, while actively soliciting for more Republican content. Despite all this, Republicans are certain that, were it not for some "shadow banning" and other devious actions, the brilliant words of conservative tweeters would surely be getting many, many more likes.

And since modern Republican statements are indistinguishable from disinformation about an ongoing pandemic, shot through with vile racism, xenophobia, and misogyny, the bill makes sure that all of those things are protected.

On first reading, the text of the bill might seem to be offering some level of protection. For example, here's what it says about the kind of things that social media can remove. Platforms can take down or edit material that is:

"the subject of a referral or request from an organization with the purpose of preventing the sexual exploitation of children and protecting survivors of sexual abuse from ongoing harassment; directly incites criminal activity or consists of specific threats of violence targeted against a person or group because of their race, color, disability, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, sex, or status as a peace officer or judge; or is unlawful expression."

That long list at the end of this passage—including color, disability, sex, etc.—might seem as if it's offering the kind of protections usually afforded when platforms take down hate speech. But look again. All of those other words are just window dressing. The bill actually allows sites to remove such speech only if it "consists of specific threats of violence." This is the very narrowest definition of incitement to violence. It's the kind of very narrow requirement that has protected both KKK leaders and Tucker Carlson when calling for violence or other harmful acts against groups, without making a specific threat,

By prohibiting social media platforms from removing text that doesn't feature a specific threat, they have created a "must carry" situation, one in which the social media platforms that fit their definition (which seems to be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat, but could expand to Google, Apple, and others thanks to some broad language) can not remove hate speech or disinformation, no matter how malignant.

To see how intentional this result is takes no more than looking at the amendments that were rejected.

  • Here's one that would have allowed sites to take down posts that promoted "any international or domestic terrorist group or any international or domestic terrorist acts."

That amendment was rejected.

  • Here's another that would have at least allowed sites to take down a post that "includes the denial of the Holocaust."

That amendment was rejected.

  • Here's a third that would have allowed sites to remove information that "promotes or supports vaccine misinformation."

Of course that amendment was rejected.

Seriously. Texas just passed a law (and Abbott just signed it) which prohibits social media sites from removing hate speech, or posts that promote terrorism, or intentional misinformation about vaccines, orholocaust denial.

And it doesn't stop there. Because Texas doesn't just require that sites leave these posts intact: the state also prohibits platforms from "censoring" these posts in any way. That includes "demonetize, de-boost, restrict, deny equal access or visibility to ..." That requirement means that not only do sites have to carry a post, no matter how vile, they have to promote it and pay for it equally with other posts.

So, if someone in Texas were to post a YouTube video that was full of holocaust denial, revived every antisemitic claim in history, and called for driving Jews out of the country and burning down synagogues—but didn't mention a specific time and place for people to gather with torches—YouTube would not only be forbidden from removing it, they wouldn't be allowed to add any warning, would have to promote it equally with other videos, and would have to pay the creator if it got enough racists to watch.

As the tech industry group Chamber for Progress puts it: "This law is going to put more hate speech, scams, terrorist content, and misinformation online."

Naturally, platforms and organizations have already announced lawsuits, mostly focused on the idea that the Texas law redefines social media platforms as "common carriers." It's unlikely that any of these platforms will ever be bound by this law.

Even so … it gives great insight into the type of speech Republicans are really out to promote.

Psaki Bomb Flattens Abbott’s ‘Eliminate Rape’ Idiocy

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday expertly dismantled and brilliantly mocked Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott's promise to "eliminate all rapists," a promise he made to defend his unconstitutional abortion ban on Tuesday.

"If Governor Abbott has a means of eliminating all rapists, or all rape, from the United States then there'll be bipartisan support for that," Psaki told a reporter asking for a response to Abbott's spurious claim. "But given there has never in the history of the country, in the world, been any leader who's ever been able to eliminate rape, eliminate rapists from our streets, it's even more imperative – it's one of the many reasons I should say, not the only reason, why women in Texas should have access to health care."

On Tuesday Abbott lied about his 6-week abortion ban, forcing women to take to social media to tell him how their bodies work.

Abbott claimed the abortion ban "provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion," which is false. "That said however, let's make something very clear: rape is a crime, and Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas, by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them and getting them off the streets."

Watch:

Suffer, Little Children: Anti-Vax, Anti-Masking, And The Faces Of Evil

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The origin of evil is an issue that would seem as difficult to fathom as the meaning of life, or the purpose of the universe. It's not. Evil is not simply when something bad happens. Hurricanes aren't evil. Not even a disease is evil. Evil takes understanding. Evil is when someone displays indifference or experiences pleasure in the face of suffering.

The worst sort of evil comes when empathy and consideration are replaced with a perverse joy, one that doesn't just refuse to acknowledge someone else's pain, but takes pride in dismissing the thought that others deserve consideration. And it looks like this.

What's happening in that Tennessee school board meeting is a tiny subset, a pixel in the larger picture, of what's happening on multiple issues across the country. Another part of that greater image can be seen when CNN asked Dr. Anthony Fauci about a statement by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. And in the responses of a school superintendent from Mississippi.

As CNN reports, children too young to be vaccinated now make up 26% of all new cases of COVID-19 cases. That number has grown enormously as schools have reopened for in-person instruction in districts where masks are not mandated and vaccination for staff is not a requirement. In fact, the total number of children infected across the course of the pandemic has grown by 10% in just the last two weeks.

That's because the reopening of schools, especially in areas where school boards have bowed to pressure—or the executive orders of Republican governors—and refused to institute mask mandates or vaccination requirements and are seeing an "explosions of cases." That explosion generated over 14,000 cases among students in Florida within the first week of classes. It resulted in thousands of cases in Texas, where district after district has been forced to suspend classes.

Florida and Texas may have been grabbing the headlines thanks to the deeply twisted statements from Govs. Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, but they're far from alone. In just four days in August, the Clarion Ledgerreports that over 5,700 students tested positive in a single week, putting over 30,000—6.5% of the state's total student population—into quarantine.

In this interview, Mississippi school superintendent John Strycker explains that he doesn't require masks in his school, even after a teacher died. Strycker says, "I'm confident in what we're doing."

Strycker: I wept. Okay? It's very hard on me. But when I'm making my decisions, I need to do the best I can to make non-emotional decisions.
Reporter: But your non-emotional decision is to do nothing.
Strycker: Right.

Strycker then claims that the children in his care are "safe relative to the other schools." In the first three week of school there, 6.4 percent of students have tested positive for COVID-19.

Following this interview, CNN moves to looking at the large Los Angeles unified school district where the superintendent has made very different decisions. At that school, every member of the staff is required to report their vaccination status and everyone—students, teachers, and visitors—is required to wear a mask. Over the same period, the infection rate in Los Angeles schools was 0.5 percent.

What's become clear across the nation is simply this: School districts that do not have a mandatory mask policy are very likely to see a high incidence of COVID-19 cases within a period of a few weeks. Those levels are very likely to lead to that school district being forced to quarantine a substantial subset of its student and staff population, and almost as likely to result in classes being suspended for a period.

The reason is simple enough: As much as anti-mask forces want to make wearing a mask an emblem of personal fear, it's not. The mask is simply societal responsibility. Masks reduce the rate of transmission of COVID-19, as well as other viruses, but they are really only highly effective if nearly everyone is wearing them. One person wearing a masks in a sea of bare faces gains very little, if anything, in the way of personal protection. If everyone is wearing masks, there is a large decrease in the spread of disease.

The same rule applies to vaccines. As NPR reports, DeSantis has repeatedly dismissed the role of vaccines as anything more than personal protection.

"At the end of the day though," said the Florida governor, "it's about your health and whether you want that protection or not. It really doesn't impact me or anyone else."

And as Dr. Anthony Fauci has made clear, DeSantis is "completely incorrect." Vaccines, like masks, do provide some protection to the individual, but their greater role is in breaking the chain of transmission. A high level of vaccination doesn't just protect the vaccinated, it protects everyone. Whether someone has been vaccinated definitely affects those around them.

"When you're dealing with an outbreak of an infectious disease, it isn't only about you," said Fauci. "There's a societal responsibility that we all have."

And there's that phrase again: societal responsibility—the need to take action that protects not just yourself or your family, but everyone in the greater society. What's missing from every insistence that masks or vaccines are a "personal choice" is that these choices have an impact on others. Saying that masks or vaccines don't affect anyone else is like saying that driving drunk doesn't affect anyone else. Or firing a weapon through a loaded room doesn't affect anyone else. These actions may nothave an immediate impact, but there is a recognized societal responsibility that makes them illegal even if they don't result in immediate loss.

What does evil look like? It looks like someone standing in front of a camera and saying that a decision that can cost the lives of thousands is a personal choice. It looks like that.

It also looks like these events at a charter school in Boise as reported by the Idaho Statesman.

At the beginning of the year, the board of the Peace Valley Charter School passed a mask mandate. But they rolled back that mandate after hearing from Dr. Ryan Cole—the same doctor who referred to COVID-19 vaccines as both "fake" and "needle rape." Following that statement, Cole was made a member of Idaho's Central District Health Board.

At a special meeting of the school board, Cole testified that masks didn't work and that there was "not one study" showing that masks could help stop a viral disease. Cole also testified that masks "retain carbon dioxide" and can cause "inflammation in the brain." None of these things has any basis in fact. (For reference, here's a large study showing that masks work and here's a broad review of the topic which confirms that effectiveness).

At that meeting, board members were also given a packet of documents, which included one titled "COVID-19 Masks Are a Crime Against Humanity and Child Abuse." The board reversed its vote, eliminating the mask mandate.

What does evil look like? It looks like a woman snickering at a child talking about his dead grandmother. It looks like a doctor knowingly passing along false information that places children and teacher in danger. Most of all, it looks like a governor denying that individuals have any obligation beyond self preservation, and pretending that societal responsibilities do not exist.

'Completely incorrect': Dr. Fauci pushes back on DeSantis' vaccine claim www.youtube.com

Wednesday, Sep 8, 2021 · 11:59:27 AM EDT · Mark Sumner

And as that Idaho school votes to drop mask mandates in response to disinformation …

The Lone Star State Wasn't Always So Mean, Petty, And Vindictive

Confession: I have always felt warmly toward Texas, and I can't square the big-hearted, boisterous, self-confident place I've known with the petty, mean-spirited, downright vindictive anti-abortion law the state's Republican legislature and governor have endorsed.

Welcome to Beijing on the Brazos. It's as if 29 million Texans had surrendered to fundamentalist authoritarianism, brandishing Bibles like copies of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book, vowing punishment against sinners and informing on their relatives and neighbors.

As I say, this is not the Texas I know: a sprawling, geographically and ethnically complex state larger than France, and which sometimes feels like the nation—as Texans never quit reminding you—that it was from 1836 to 1845.

Parts of Texas resemble Louisiana, others Oklahoma; the Texas panhandle feels a lot like Nebraska, and basically everywhere south of San Antonio like Mexico. The territory around Lubbock somewhat resembles the moon. Unless you really put the hammer down, it's a two-day drive from Beaumont to El Paso or Amarillo.

Texas can be hard to get your mind around. However, having lived there two different times, taught at University of Texas-Austin, and traveled everywhere reporting for Texas Monthly magazine, I've always felt an intoxicating sense of possibility. If I hadn't basically married Arkansas, I'd probably live somewhere near Austin.

To give you some idea, I interviewed a priest in Orange who sponsored two dozen Vietnamese immigrants, covered the great Rockdale football mutiny (undefeated state champs who went on strike against their coach), and hit the road with the Corpus Christi Seagulls, a minor league baseball team. I interviewed migrant workers outside Amarillo, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist at UT-Austin, studied the heavens at the university's observatory in the Davis Mountains, and learned to handle a pistol from an ROTC instructor at Rice University. (Bottom line: don't.) I made pilgrimage to Alvin to interview the great Nolan Ryan.

You don't meet a lot of shy, retiring Texans. Willie Nelson is your classic example, also The Eagles' Don Henley. Buddy Holly, Beyoncé, Waylon Jennings and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Jerry Jeff Walker was raised in upstate New York, but his rendition of Gary P. Nunn's "London Homesick Blues," may be the purest example of slide guitar Texas nationalism extant.

Texas is filled with writers and journalists I admire, from Lawrence Wright and my pal Stephen Harrigan to the late Larry McMurtry. I once drove from Cody, Wyoming to Little Rock listening to Lonesome Dove and was tempted to carry on to Memphis just to finish the story.

Coming to the point, Texas was also home to two of the strongest American women of my own or anybody else's generation: Gov. Ann Richards and the inimitable Molly Ivins, the wittiest American journalist since H.L. Mencken.

Molly once observed of a Dallas congressman that "If his IQ slips any lower we'll have to water him twice a day." She described Bill Clinton as "weaker than bus station chili" -- unfair, in my view, but definitely memorable.

One can only imagine what either woman would have made of Texas' current Gov. Greg Abbott—a poser last seen vowing to protect the state from imaginary invasion during "Operation Jade Helm." Austin's own native hoaxer Alex Jones had persuaded thousands of dupes that networks of secret tunnels were being dug between vacant Walmart stores to help ISIS fighters infiltrate. Christian patriots would be imprisoned in FEMA re-education camps.

Sure enough, the invasion never came. Fresh from that mighty triumph, Abbott has now succeeded in passing an idiotic law empowering every testosterone-challenged goober in Texas to carry a gun anywhere: no lessons or permit necessary. That will cost dozens of lives, but it's the abortion law that's getting all the attention.

Look, there has been a strong undercurrent of authoritarianism in Texas culture since slavery times. But this takes it further: If a 13 year-old child gets impregnated by her uncle, Texas now demands that she bear a child. Otherwise, a vindictive relative or nosy neighbor can collect a $10,000 state bounty for filing a lawsuit against an abortion provider, putting them out of business.

It's like the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act on steroids. Already, a self-described "Christian" group has put up a website, ProLifeWhistleblower.com, inviting people to inform on anybody obtaining or facilitating abortions. The cheapest form of cheap grace imaginable.

Anyway, it's official: Every Texas woman's womb belongs to the state. What's more, thanks to the cunning and cowardice of the US Supreme Court, every state where fundamentalist Bible Beaters hold sway will soon rush to enact it—even if it ultimately means political disaster, which I think it does.

Because Americans just won't stand for turning embittered ex-husbands and vengeful mothers-in-law into bounty hunters. So spare me the theological and biological fundamentalism. Nobody thinks abortion is a good thing; but it's sometimes the least-bad option. Other people's intimate life decisions are nobody else's business, in Texas or anywhere else.

Texas Judge Blocks Vigilante Lawsuit Against Planned Parenthood

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

In a small but significant victory against Texas' new draconian law limiting abortion access, a judge has temporarily blocked one of the state's largest forced-birth groups and its vigilante pals from suing the nation's largest provider of reproductive healthcare. The decision, which is by no means a permanent solution, comes as corporations headquartered or operating within the Lone Star State are also speaking out against the law.

Reuters:

Travis County District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble granted Planned Parenthood a temporary restraining order against the anti-abortion group, Texas Right to Life, blocking the group and its allies from using an unusual mechanism of the Texas law that enables private citizens to sue anyone who provides or "aids or abets" an abortion after six weeks.
[...]
Guerra Gamble said in her three-page written order that allowing the so-called private enforcement mechanism to go forward while Planned Parenthood took further legal action would cause "probable, irreparable and imminent injury" that could not be cured later.
[...]
The Travis County restraining order does not bar others from using the law against Planned Parenthood or other abortion providers in Texas. A hearing on a possible further injunction was set for Sept. 13.

As noted by Planned Parenthood Federation of America's vice president for public policy litigation and law Helene Krasnoff, while Guerra Gamble's decision is one worth celebrating, it is not enough to protect Texans' access to reproductive healthcare. "[M]ake no mistake: this is not enough relief for Texas," she said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the corporate wing of the nation is beginning to speak out. Two top dating apps based in Texas were quick to take a stance against the obscene new law.. Austin-based Bumble announced its plans on Twitter hours after the Supreme Court declined to block the law from taking effect at midnight on Wednesday.

As CNBC reported Thursday, the Match dating empire wasn't far behind.

Match Group CEO Shar Dubey also announced in a memo to employees that she would personally create a fund to support Texas-based workers and dependents who needed to seek care outside of the state, a company spokesperson confirmed to CNBC.
Match, based in Dallas, owns a bevy of dating companies, including its namesake app Match along with Hinge, Tinder and OKCupid.
"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," Dubey said in the memo. "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," she added.

Dating apps aren't the only businesses speaking out.

Lyft and Uber Technologies Inc. said they will cover all legal fees for the ride-hail companies' drivers sued under a law that puts in place a near-total ban on abortion.
Lyft will also donate $1 million to women's health provider Planned Parenthood, chief executive Logan Green said on Twitter.
[...]
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted in response to Green's announcement that his company would cover drivers' legal fees in the same way, thanking Green for taking the initiative.

Yet, as The New York Times notes, other companies' silence on the issue is deafening.

When Texas lawmakers advanced a restrictive voting rights bill this year, American Airlines and Dell Technologies, two of the state's biggest employers, were early and vocal critics of the effort.
But this week, as a law that prohibits most abortions after about six weeks took effect in Texas, both companies declined to comment on the measure.
[...]
Two dozen major companies contacted by The New York Times on Friday either did not reply or declined to comment. Among those that would not say something were McDonald's, a sponsor of International Women's Day; PwC, a major supporter of diversity and inclusion efforts; and Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines, which led a corporate backlash last year against a restrictive voting bill in Georgia, where they have their headquarters.
Many of the biggest employers in Texas, including AT&T, Oracle, McKesson and Phillips 66, declined to comment. Even companies that are quick to speak up on social issues, including Patagonia and Levi's, did not say anything about the new law. And Catalyst, a nonprofit organization that teams up with big companies to "build workplaces that work for women," declined to comment.

After Texas Gov. Greg Abbott crowed about companies' support of the anti-choice law, namedropping Tesla's Elon Musk, the electric car pioneer offered a lukewarm response.

As Fortune noted on Friday, the seeming indifference of corporations to the Texas law is startling … and a bit of a change.

In 2019, almost 200 corporate leaders stood up for abortion rights. Amid a rash of antiabortion legislation throughout the U.S. South, they said: no more. Abortion restrictions are bad for business.
[...]
And yet this time around, the business backlash is missing.
"Their silence is shameful," says Shelley Alpern, director of shareholder advocacy for Rhia Ventures who has worked to galvanize companies around reproductive rights. "Their very integrity is at stake."

Fortune reached out to "about a dozen" companies about the new law, but most did not respond. What will it take to get the nation's industry to flex their significant capital and muscle when it comes to reproductive rights? It's unclear. But as Fortune notes, recent research indicates that as much as two-thirds of the college-educated workforce would refuse a new job in Texas due to the new law.