The 20-year-old woman had typed in a Planned Parenthood clinic around an hour away from her student accommodation in New York.
Planned Parenthood is an abortion and reproductive care provider with clinics all over America.
Soon after she got in the car, she noticed her driver “seemed uncomfortable”.
She said: “After a few more minutes he asked, ‘are we going to an abortion clinic?’ I was shocked; 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.”
He went on to say “how awful the procedure is” and explained it in graphic detail. He then told the young woman she was going to “regret this decision for the rest of her life”.
“It took all of my strength not to start crying but I managed to keep it together by looking out the window and avoiding his gaze.” She continued.
It didn’t end there, though. Around half way through the journey the driver pulled over with no warning.
“There was a gas station and a closed antiques store, and around us was farmland and forest. 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 woman got out of the car and immediately started crying. The driver stuck around for a further 10-15 minutes and offered to drive her back home, which she declined.
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She ended up calling a local cab company, with the help of her boyfriend on the phone, and arrived at her appointment an hour late.
The woman went on to report the driver to the police. Uber have since confirmed to her that he has been banned from working for the company.
People flooded to the woman’s aid on the Reddit thread. One user wrote: “There’s a BIG difference between refusing to drive someone to a destination/dropping them off somewhere they didn’t ask and intentionally driving out of your way to shame and leave them stranded based on your perceived moral high ground.”
It has sparked a much wider debate about the type of shaming women receive when seeking abortions. Although the Uber-driver case is a one off, women in the UK have been berated outside of clinics. The government recently refused to allow ‘buffer zones’ for anti-abortion protestors outside of clinics.
Current home secretary, Sajid Javid, ruled out the buffer zones last year. The presence of anti-abortion campaigners has increased in recent years. As it stands, women and employees of the clinics have to face the presence of the campaigners alone.
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