Dating Apps Are Joining Forces to Support Women Seeking Abortions in Texas
Warning: This post deals with the topics of sexual assault, trauma and abortion and may be triggering for some readers.
While we were already fans of Bumble and Tinder, we’re now even bigger fans of the dating apps after their groups announced they were stepping up to support women seeking abortions in Texas, less than a week after the state passed a law that bans abortions from taking place after six weeks of pregnancy.
Side note: it’s wild that in 2021, there are still groups of powerful people making not only conservative, but extremely narrow-minded and dangerous decisions that affect large populations.
“Bumble has created a relief fund supporting the reproductive rights of women and people across the gender spectrum who seek abortions in Texas,” a spokesperson told POPSUGAR Australia.
Bumble’s HQ is based in Austin, Texas, which means that its own employees will be impacted by this ban. The fund was created with the intention of “supporting the reproductive rights of women and people across the gender spectrum who seek abortions in Texas” and will go to organisations that support women’s reproductive rights, including Fund Texas Choice.
Match Group (the company that owns Tinder) has also created a similar fund.
Okay, so let’s back it up.
What’s Going On In Texas?
On Wednesday, September 1, a law in Texas banning abortion providers from carrying out terminations after fetal cardiac activity is detected (around six weeks into a pregnancy) came into force, following the Supreme Court’s decision to not intervene.
The law makes no exceptions, unless “a physician believes that a medical emergency exists”, which is pretty disgusting in 2021.
According to CNN, this law was first introduced to the Texas House of Representatives and Senate back in March as the ‘Heartbeat Act’ – a name that some medical professionals have said is intentionally misleading – and was signed into law by Republican Governor Greg Abbott in May.
The reason it’s seemingly come into force now is because the Supreme Court declined to rule on an emergency request to block the bill, which was filed by abortion providers.
The court’s very clearly conservative majority issued a formal denial on the request, stating its reasoning as due to the “complex” and “novel” issues surrounding abortion, though it acknowledged that the clinics had raised “serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law.”
Not only has this outrageous law been passed, but it’s also nearly impossible for reproductive rights advocates to fight in court. Lawmakers deployed a sneaky legal manoeuvre by entrusting its enforcement to private citizens who’ve been given the power to sue individuals they believe have had an unauthorised abortion, as well as anyone they believe aided the procedure.
This law is takes away the women’s right to make this choice, from every angle possible.
What Does This Mean?
Banning abortions at six weeks is one of the strictest laws in the US. Six weeks is when a fetal heartbeat is first able to be detected, which is before most women know that they’re pregnant.
Prior to this, 85% of abortions in Texas took place after six weeks. The majority of women who get abortions do so after the six-week mark, due to not being aware of their pregnancy. At this point, many women will have only missed one period and if there are no other clear symptoms, it’s pretty easy to miss to early signs.
What Is Bumble Doing to Help?
“Bumble is women-founded and women-led, and from day one we’ve stood up for the most vulnerable,” the company said in a statement on Twitter. “We’ll keep fighting against regressive laws like #SB8 (official name of the controversial legislation).”
Match Group, who owns not only Tinder, but also Match.com, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, and Hinge, has also created a similar fund.
CEO of Match Group, Shar Dubey, said the group’s fund will predominantly be the financial support that will be needed for Texas-based employees and their partners to travel outside the state for reproductive care.
“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 an internal memo obtained by Reuters.
“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.”
POPSUGAR has reached out for further comment on this matter.
What Can You Do to Help?
There are a few different ways you can help, in both a social way and a political way.
If you or someone you know is struggling and needs support to call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Lifeline on 13 11 14. Both of these services provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also talk to someone from 1800RESPECT via online chat. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.