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The Texas GOP Is Big Mad Over Citi Policy Covering Travel Costs for Staffers Seeking Abortions

Citi has angered the anti-abortion crowd.
Citi has angered the anti-abortion crowd. Photo by Mikel Parera on Unsplash
Texas Republicans claim to be pro-business, but that apparently only applies when the business aligns with their conservative values. This week, banking titan Citigroup has faced the GOP’s wrath, with Texas politicians charging down the cancel-culture warpath.

At the center of the controversy is Citi’s apparent pro-choice stance. In the group’s annual proxy statement, Citi wrote in a letter to shareholders that they’d cover travel costs for employees living in states with restrictive abortion access (cough, Texas).

“In response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states in the U.S., beginning in 2022 we provide travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources,” they wrote.

And at the same time Texas Republicans are cracking down on trans rights, Citi also plans to expand its gender affirmation medical coverage, according to the letter.

CNN Business reports that Citi’s new abortion policy will apply to certain travel expenses, such as hotels and plane tickets, for employees seeking the procedure in another state.

Last year, the so-called Heartbeat Act took effect in Texas, banning abortion after roughly six weeks, before most women realize they’re pregnant. From Sept. 1 until Dec. 31, Planned Parenthood centers in neighboring states witnessed a nearly 800% year-over-year spike in Texas abortion patients, according to data released last month.

Texas politicians are now slamming Citi over its controversial health care policies, threatening to lock ‘em up and throw away the key.

“It’s a criminal offense to ‘furnish the means for procuring an abortion knowing the purpose intended,’” state Rep. Matt Schaefer said in a Wednesday tweet. “See article 4512.2, Tx revised civil statutes. Punishable by 2–5 yrs prison per abortion. @Citibank officials need to check the law before paying for abortion expenses. #txlege.”
Meanwhile, Matt Rinaldi, chair of the Texas GOP, told CBS News he’d urge conservatives to take their cash elsewhere.

“Republicans should avoid entrusting their finances with Citibank and other companies that are hostile to them and their values," he said. "Citigroup's decision to finance the murder of unborn children with a heartbeat is appalling, but not surprising, considering [its] past adoption of far-left causes."

The Hill reports that of the nation’s mega-corporations, Citigroup is among the first to include to travel costs in its reproductive health care benefits. The company’s CEO, Jane Fraser, is also a trailblazer: She’s the first female to head a major Wall Street bank.

Other states are taking a page from Texas’ book. The Idaho House of Representatives on Monday passed an abortion ban similar to the one in the Lone Star State.

Yet Democratic leaders from other states are applauding Citi’s move. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California took to Twitter on Wednesday, touting Citi’s decision as “the right thing to do.”

“We need more of this from corporate America,” Newsom continued.
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Simone Carter, a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer, graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter