Elon Musk on Texas heartbeat law: "I would prefer to stay out of politics"

(AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

You can’t blame him. Elon Musk is smart enough to know that weighing in on a fetal heartbeat law in Texas isn’t a smart thing to do. He’s a businessman and he didn’t get to be fabulously wealthy by being stupid. He knows how the game is played.

Elon Musk relocated himself and his business interests to Texas because of the business-friendly environment. Governor Abbott was interviewed on CNBC’s Squawk Street Tuesday. With the left’s hair on fire over the fetal heartbeat bill now in effect in Texas, Abbott addressed it. He mentioned conversations with Elon Musk indicate Musk supports social policies in Texas. Musk responded. He doesn’t want to be drawn into the debate.

Musk may or may not agree with the fetal heartbeat bill. What he does is provide cover for other CEOs unwilling to be used as pawns for either side. That is how it should be. There is no reason for a business leader to weigh in on any of the social issues. Why should any businessman potentially eliminate sales by spewing forth on such issues? It doesn’t make good business sense. He is smart to straddle the fence. Musk isn’t much of a political person, though I would guess he’s libertarian in his political beliefs. He’s not a big government guy. He did come out strongly against government mandates during the pandemic.

The question arises if the law will put a cloud over businesses choosing to relocate to Texas from blue states, or will they chose another red state? Abbott isn’t sounding too concerned about that. “The people who are not wringing their hands are the people who create jobs that run businesses.”

Earlier Thursday, Abbott told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the new law and other politically divisive social issue laws will not make his state less appealing to businesses or individuals.

“You need to understand that there’s a lot of businesses and a lot of Americans who like the social positions that the state of Texas is taking,” Abbott said.

“This is not slowing down businesses coming to the state of Texas at all. In fact it is accelerating the process of businesses coming to Texas,” Abbott said.

Other newcomers to Texas from Silicon Valley are also remaining silent, at least for now. There is a snarky piece in Axios today in which the author says he tried to message “several venture capitalists” who relocated to Texas during the pandemic and none would respond. He got the same response from some well-known Texas CEOs, too.

One possibility is that most of these business leaders agree with the Texas law. And if you support financial incentives for squealing on someone trying to medically assist a 12-year-old who was raped by her father, then far be it for me to dissuade you.

Another possibility is cowardice, figuring the safest course is to wait for the courts to throw this out (which remains entirely possible, despite how SCOTUS ruled on Wednesday).

Best bet, though, is that this is about gender. Men and women have pretty similar views on abortion, but there are stark difference on the depths of emotion and animation tied to those opinions. Most CEOs, and venture capitalists, are men (even if so many of their employees and customers aren’t). Ipso facto…

The only Texas companies to come out strongly yesterday in opposition to the law, Bumble and Match Group, are both led by women.

The law may indeed not survive court challenges. We’ll see. The SCOTUS ruling only prevented the law from being stopped from going into effect. It didn’t ban abortion in Texas, despite the gaslighting going on in the media and by pro-abortion women and men. Devout Catholic Joe Biden promises to unleash the DOJ to “insulate women and providers” to keep abortion mills going. Planned Parenthood’s political arm contributes millions of dollars to Democrats each election cycle, including to him.

Two businesses with employees in Texas are raising money to offer financial help to those who may be affected by the new law – Bumble and Match Group.

Austin-based Bumble announced it was going to make a relief fund to help its employees looking to terminate their pregnancies.

“Starting today, Bumble has created a relief fund supporting the reproductive rights of women and people across the gender spectrum who seek abortions in Texas,” the company said in a statement.

“Bumble is women-founded and women-led, and from day one we’ve stood up for the most vulnerable. We’ll keep fighting against regressive laws like #SB8,” the company wrote on its Twitter account.

The CEO of Match Group admits that normally the company doesn’t get involved in politics but in this case, an exception was made.

Shar Dubey, the CEO of Match Group, issued a memo to staff that she would personally establish a relief fund for members of staff based in Texas and any dependents who were required to get family planning treatment outside of the state. The firm is based in Dallas, and owns and operates numerous dating apps; including Match, Hinge and Tinder.

In the letter, first reported by Bloomberg, Ms Dubey said:, “As I have said before, the company generally does not take political stands unless relevant to our business. But in this instance, I personally, as a woman in Texas, could not keep silent.”

It continued: “Surely everyone should see the danger of this highly punitive and unfair law that doesn’t even take an exception for victims of rape or incest. I would hate for this state to take this big step back in women’s rights.”

Pelosi is vowing to bring forth a vote to codify Roe v Wade in the House.