October 16, 2021

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Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff offers to relocate any Texas families affected by new anti-abortion law [Video]

Any Texas employees of Salesforce affected by the state’s new anti-abortion law can relocate on the company’s dime along with their families, the tech firm said in a statement this week after legislation went into effect that only allows abortions before most women know they are pregnant.

The software giant joins Uber, Lyft and dating site Bumble in offering to help people who need abortions in Texas contend with the punishing new law that all but bans the medical procedure.

The message was delivered by chairman and CEO Marc Benioff via a Slack message obtained by CNBC.

In this May 16, 2019, file photo, Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff speaks during a news conference, in Indianapolis.

In this May 16, 2019, file photo, Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff speaks during a news conference, in Indianapolis.

In this May 16, 2019, file photo, Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff speaks during a news conference, in Indianapolis. (Darron Cummings/)

“These are incredibly personal issues that directly impact many of us — especially women,” Salesforce told employees in the message, without stating a position on the law itself. “We recognize and respect that we all have deeply held and different perspectives. As a company, we stand with all of our women at Salesforce and everywhere. With that being said, if you have concerns about access to reproductive healthcare in your state, Salesforce will help relocate you and members of your immediate family.”

He later tweeted out the CNBC story with the message, “Ohana if you want to move we’ll help you exit TX. Your choice.”

Ohana means “family” in Hawaiian, The Associated Press noted.

The law forbidding abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected – about six weeks into a pregnancy, before it’s detectable to the person gestating – had been passed in May. The legislation went into effect earlier this month after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block it, ignoring an emergency appeal.

The U.S. Department of Justice has since sued Texas to block the law, which also contains a vigilante-style provision allowing people to sue those who offer support to women seeking to terminate a pregnancy. This includes everyone from medical professionals to those who drive them to an appointment. Anyone who “successfully” sues would get $10,000 under the new law.

Uber and Lyft said they’d pay legal fees incurred by drivers sued for taking women for an abortion, and Bumble said it would create a relief fund for people affected by it, according to The Associated Press.

It’s not Benioff’s first foray into the political fray. The San Francisco–based company scaled back investment in Indiana in 2015 along with several other businesses after the enactment of a religious freedom law that appeared to discriminate against LGBTQ people. It expanded there once the laws were tweaked to take discrimination out of the mix.

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