McAuliffe: Texas Salesforce employees would be welcome in Virginia in wake of abortion law

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe addresses supporters at the first stop of the ‘DNC Build Back Better Bus Tour’ at Port City Brewing in Alexandria, Va., on Thursday, August 12, 2021.
Greg Nash

Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said on Monday that Texas-based Salesforce employees would be welcome in Virginia after the software company offered to relocate them amid Texas’s near-total ban on abortion. 

“My message to companies like Salesforce is clear: come to Virginia — where we remain open and welcoming, and opposed to dangerous abortion bans that put women’s health and lives at risk — all of which Glenn Youngkin would enact as governor,” the former governor said, taking a swing at his GOP opponent in a statement provided exclusively to The Hill. 

“We’ve seen these extreme right-wing attacks on reproductive health in Virginia before, and as governor, I fought back against every single one,” McAuliffe continued. “I kept women’s health clinics open when extreme right-wing Republicans like Glenn Youngkin tried to force them to close, and I vetoed every anti-women’s health bill including multiple efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. This dangerous Texas law is exactly what Glenn has in mind when he says he wants to go ‘on offense’ to ban abortion in the Commonwealth. The fact is it is dangerous, it would harm our economy, and I will not let it happen in Virginia.”

McAuliffe said earlier this month that he encouraged Virginia business leaders to reach out to Texas-based companies like American Airlines and Dell, and welcome them to move their headquarters to the Old Dominion. 

The former governor’s statement on Monday marks his latest effort to tie Youngkin to the new Texas abortion law, which would ban the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy and would not make exceptions for rape or incest. 

When asked about the law earlier this month, Youngkin said McAuliffe was using his “extreme” views to divide Virginians on the issue. 

“I’m pro-life. I’ve said it from the beginning of this campaign,” Youngkin said. “I believe in exceptions in the case of rape, in the case of incest and in the case where the mother’s life is in jeopardy.”

Salesforce announced in a Slack message to employees last week that the company would assist them in relocating if they had concerns over Texas’s new law. The company joined a number of other businesses responding to the law. Texas-based dating platforms Hinge and Bumble have set up relief funds for individuals impacted by the law, while ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft vowed to cover all legal costs for any of their drivers who are sued for driving a customer to an abortion clinic.

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