August 10, 2022

Tesla has committed to covering travel-related expenses for employees who are forced to go out of state to have an abortion after Elon Musk’s electric car outfit recently relocated to Texas, where the governor has vowed to outlaw the procedure.

Musk has been hailed by conservatives for his pledge to acquire Twitter and alter its content moderation policies as well as his stated desire to vote for Republican candidates, though his car maker’s abortion-friendly policy flies in the face of his rightward turn.

The Post has reached out to Tesla seeking comment.

The Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling which legalized abortion nationwide.

The controversial ruling comes weeks after the online news site Politico published a leaked draft of the decision — which prompted outrage from abortion rights advocates.

Get The Post’s latest updates following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In the days following the Politico scoop, Tesla was among several companies to announce that it would extend additional medical benefits to workers who are forced to travel out of state to seek an abortion.

Musk last year relocated Tesla’s headquarters from deep-blue California to Texas, which is set to issue a total ban on abortions.
AFP via Getty Images

On Friday, several firms including Netflix, Disney, Paramount, JPMorgan Chase, and others told their employees that they would cover out-of-state travel costs for those seeking abortions.

The car maker officially moved its corporate headquarters last year from Silicon Valley to Texas, which passed a law banning abortions at roughly six weeks of pregnancy.

Texas is also one of 13 states to have passed a so-called “trigger law” which imposes a blanket ban on abortions once the nation’s highest court overturns Roe v. Wade.

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The Supreme Court decision opens the door for as many as 23 states in the union to criminalize abortion.

Texas' GOP-dominated state legislature has passed a "trigger law" that would automatically ban abortions if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Texas’ GOP-dominated state legislature has passed a “trigger law” that would automatically ban abortions if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement on Friday welcoming the high court’s ruling.

The Republican governor vowed to continue to work the state’s GOP-controlled state legislature to “save every child from the ravages of abortion and help our expectant mothers in need.”

“The US Supreme Court correctly overturned Roe v. Wade and reinstated the right of states to protect innocent, unborn children,” Abbott said.

“Texas is a pro-life state, and we have taken significant action to protect the sanctity of life.”

The governor added: “Texas has also prioritized supporting women’s healthcare and expectant mothers in need to give them the necessary resources so that they can choose life for their child.”

“Texas will always fight for the innocent unborn,” he said.

Tesla said in its 2021 “Impact Report” released in May that it expanded its Safety Net program and health insurance offerings last year to include “travel and lodging support for those who may need to seek healthcare services that are unavailable in their home state.”

Even before the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, Texas had some of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws on the books.
Even before the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, Texas had some of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws on the books.
Getty Images

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are taking aim at corporations offering to help women seeking abortions in states with less restrictive laws.

Texas State Representative Briscoe Cain, a Republican, has said he would propose legislation barring local governments in the state from doing business with any company that provides travel benefits for employees seeking abortions.

Nationally, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced a bill that would prohibit companies from claiming tax deductions for such costs.

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Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but he tweeted in September that he believes “government should rarely impose its will upon the people, and, when doing so, should aspire to maximize their cumulative happiness.”

“That said, I would prefer to stay out of politics.”