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Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Christophe Gateau: picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Elon Musk "likes the social policies" in his state; Musk dismissed him.
  • A restrictive new abortion law went into place on September 1 in Texas.
  • Musk said he "prefers to stay out of politics," but he once sued in California over COVID rules.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

After a Texas anti-abortion law took effect on Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tesla CEO Elon Musk 'likes the social policies' in his state.

Abbott made the statement while responding to a question on CNBC about whether or not he's worried that major employers in Texas will respond negatively to the restrictive law.

Musk tweeted in response that he would "prefer to stay out of politics."

"In general, I believe government should rarely impose its will upon the people, and, when doing so, should aspire to maximize their cumulative happiness," he wrote.

The governor's comment comes one day after the Supreme Court allowed state's restrictive abortion law to take effect.

The law prohibits abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which typically occurs at the six-week mark, a time when some people do not yet know they're pregnant. The ban has no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, only for cases of medical emergencies.

The law also allows any private citizen to sue an abortion provider or anyone they believe helped a person get an abortion. That private citizen would be entitled to $10,000 from the state for every successful lawsuit filed.

A change of heart from the Tesla CEO

Musk's position on staying away from politics appears to be a new shift for the billionaire CEO.

Tesla sued Alameda County in California in May 2020 for enforcing its COVID-19 shelter-in-place order as case counts rose. Musk decried the state's order as "fascist" and pushed Tesla to reopen its plant in violation of state orders.

He said the county's restrictions were "the final straw" and that he would move Tesla's HQ to Texas or Nevada. The company is in the process of building a massive new gigafactory near Austin to produce Tesla vehicles. One of Musk's other ventures, the space exploration company SpaceX, has several facilities throughout Texas and is trying to turn the small Texas beach town of Boca Chica into "Starbase, Texas."

Tesla dropped the lawsuit its lawsuit against Alameda County less than two weeks after filing the lawsuit. The company did not note its reason for dropping the suit.

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