East Downtown restaurant raising money against Texas abortion law

Koffeteria in EaDo is putting sales from its new fig croissant to help teens get abortions and birth control

Pooja Lodhia Image
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
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The Texas abortion ban has pushed businesses to take a stand. One Houston cafe, in particular, is protesting the ban through its products.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In recent years, we've seen corporations take stands on more and more social issues. But for the most part, business owners have been quiet when it comes to Texas' new abortion law.

"I just think people say, 'Well, that's the way Texas does things,' and I think that's a very inappropriate answer," said Vanarin Kuch, who owns Koffeteria in ast downtown with his husband Andreas Hager.

SEE ALSO: Abortion law doesn't need to cover rapes because Texas will eliminate them, Abbott says

"We spoke with our employees, and a lot of them shared some really personal stories," Hager said.

All sales of the restaurant's new fig croissant now go toward a nonprofit that helps teenagers get abortions and birth control. In an Instagram post, the owners said, "Throughout food history, figs have been used a symbolism for fertility, peace and prosperity."

"My biggest goal is to start the conversation," Kuch added. "Any time a conversation happens where uncomfortableness happens, change can come of it."

Texas' abortion law is the most restrictive in the country and allows private citizens to personally sue anybody they think is either trying to get an abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, or anyone who helping someone else do so.

Since it went into effect, the CEO of Uber and the co-founder of Lyft have started funds to support drivers sued under the law.

SEE ALSO: Lyft, Uber to cover fees for drivers sued under Texas abortion law

A video game CEO stepped down after tweeting support of the law. But it still doesn't compare to what we've seen in recent years, with corporations publicly supporting issues like racial equality, LGBTQ+ policies, and voter rights.

One big difference is hesitation around the law, according to many experts.

With private citizens enforcing it, and not the government, some wonder if businesses could be held liable for even criticizing the bill.

"While the actual penalty might only be $10,000, the cost of a litigation defense may be substantially higher, which again adds another element or deterrent for small business owners and major insurance providers," explained Dietrich von Biedenfeld, who is an assistant professor at UH-Downtown College of Business.

"We hope that the abortionists won't violate the laws and that there won't be any evidence," said Kimberlyn Schwartz with Texas Right to Life. "If that does happen, we'll just have to see what their claim was, what evidence they have, and how we can proceed."

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