A New York Uber driver has been fired, and may now be facing a lawsuit, for declining to drive a client to Planned Parenthood to get an abortion. The 20-year-old woman and college student posted about the incident on Reddit earlier this month.
“I’m in college in upstate NY and I don’t have a car on campus because it’s expensive,” she wrote in a message.
“I’m 20 years old and I found out I was pregnant and subsequently decided I wanted an abortion because I’m in no position to care for a child,” the woman added.
She ended up making an appointment at a clinic about an hour from her university, because the Planned Parenthood nearby had a schedule that didn’t work for her. “Because I don’t have a car, I rely on Uber and [L]yft to get me places,” she said.
The student then went on to recount her interaction with the Uber driver, who initially attempted to dissuade her from having an abortion before telling her he could not drive her to the clinic.
“My appointment was at 11:30am so at 9:58am my Uber arrived and he immediately seemed uncomfortable. After about five minutes in the car, he asked, ‘are we going to a Planned Parenthood?’ I said no (because we weren’t), but it set off alarm bells that he would even ask that,” she recounted. “The destination I put in was just the name of the doctor and the address of the clinic, there was nothing that would suggest it was an abortion clinic. After a few more minutes he asked, ‘are we going to an abortion clinic?’”
“I was shocked,” the student continued. “I had no idea what to say, so I just remained quiet. He then said ‘I know it’s none of my business, but…' and proceeded to mention something about his wife being pregnant, how awful the procedure was (and proceeded to explain it in graphic detail), and that ‘there is so much they don’t tell you’. He then said ‘you’re going to regret this decision for the rest of your life’ and that I was making a mistake.”
They were about halfway to the clinic, according to the woman, when the driver “suddenly pulls over with no warning.”
“He said ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t take you the rest of the way. I can take you back to [my city], but you won’t be able to find another Uber out here,’” the post read.
The woman said she got ahold of her boyfriend, who advised her to call the clinic and inform them she’d be late.
“I got out of the car and immediately started crying,” the student wrote. “I called my parents each three times but they didn’t pick up. Then I called my boyfriend and he picked up right away. He managed to calm me down and told me to let the clinic know what was happening and to call some local cab companies.”
The driver then “hung around for about 10-15 minutes and asked once more if I wanted to go back with him,” she said, but noted that she “declined.”
“After he left, a cab came and I got to my appointment (an hour late),” the post read.
The driver, who otherwise had good reviews from patrons, was fired after the woman filed a report against him.
“I reported the driver to Uber and the next day I filed a police report with my city’s police department,” the woman stated.
But getting the driver fired does not appear to be enough for the student.
“However, I’d like to pursue further legal action against the driver if at all possible. Do I have a case? What should my next steps be?” she asked via Reddit.
“I reached out to a law firm and a few legal aid societies but nothing has happened. I’m not sure what I should do now,” the woman said.