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Wednesday, October 27, 2021
MRC's Uber Driver Complaint Over Texas Abortion Law
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Mark Finkelstein ranted in a Sept. 10 post:

Journolist is no more. In 2010, the online forum where leftist journalists congregated to decide on the liberal talking points of the day was shut down by its founder Ezra Klein when the group was exposed.

And yet, leftists still manage to spout remarkably similar lines. When it comes to the Texas abortion law, the liberal trope of the times is the poor, besieged, "Uber driver." The notion is that Uber drivers who transport women to abortion clinics will be sued by private citizens under the law, seeking an award of up to $10,000.

On Friday's Morning Joe, MSNBC liberal analyst Jonathan Lemire, who also poses as a "reporter" for the Associated Press, mouthed the "Uber driver" line. We've put together a mash-up of multiple liberal worthies, starting with Lemire, all trotting out the "Uber driver" trope. leftists prefer to focus on supposedly beleaguered Uber drivers even though very few are likely to be sued because they want to deflect attention from what the true target of the law would be: the abortionists themselves.

Among those making appearances are Joy Behar, Gloria Allred, Laurence Tribe and Chris Hayes. Most egregious is CNN's Ana Navarro, who whines that an Uber driver could be sued by "a deer hunter in Alaska." Nice two-fer, Ana: not only sliming those crazy pro-lifers, but somehow working in a swipe at Bambi-killing gun nuts!

Here's the defense Finkelstein offered up:

The "Uber driver" trope is a flaming red herring. It would be difficult if not impossible for a plaintiff to prove that a driver knowingly transported a woman for purposes of an abortion. The plaintiff would first have to prove that the driver knew that the woman was pregnant. According to Planned Parenthood,  92 percent of abortions are performed within the first 13 weeks, when pregnancy might well not be visible. 

And even if it could be proved that the driver somehow knew that the woman was pregnant, the plaintiff would also have to prove that the driver knew that she was going to seek an abortion. After all, Planned Parenthood claims that only three percent of its services are abortion. For all the driver knew, the woman was going for one of the other 97 percent of services.  Bottom line: few if any people are likely to waste their time suing Uber drivers.

But Finkelstein offers no evidence that the Texas law exempts Uber drivers if they did not know they were transporting a patient for an abortion -- which means that they are open to liability. If not, both Uber and Lyft would have felt no need to offer to pay legal fees of drivers charged under the law.And if Finkelstein doesn't bellieve anti-abortion activists would spend the time and effort to prosecute an Uber driver in the hopes of racking up a $10,000 bounty, he clearly has not seen their zealotry in action. (Has he forgotten how many abortion doctors have been murdered by protesters?)

Despite the holes in Finkelstein's defense, the Uber-driver complaint became a thing at the MRC. The next day, Autumn Johnson noted the Uber and Lyft defense funds in a story about Salesforce offering to move employees who object to the law out of its Texas office. And on Sept. 12, Kristine Marsh complained that HBO host John Oliver "whined about how the law allows for suing Uber drivers who assist in transporting women to get abortions"; her only attempt at rebuttal was to link to Finkelstein's post.In a Sept. 28 post, Marsh quoted Trevor Noah noting the Uber driver exposure but did not rebut it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 PM EDT

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