A major financial institution has announced that it will pay for its employees to have abortions out of state, prompting backlash from the pro-life community.
One of the largest banks in the United States, Citigroup announced its intention to pay for employees’ abortions in a definitive proxy statement submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of its annual shareholder meeting, scheduled for April 26.
The SEC “requires that shareholders of a company whose securities are registered under Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 receive a proxy statement prior to a shareholder meeting, whether an annual or special meeting.”
Page 20 of the proxy statement includes “compensation and human capital management highlights” designed to illustrate how Citigroup is “continuously innovating in how we recruit, train, compensate, promote and engage with our workforce” and encouraging “career growth and development by offering broad and diverse opportunities to colleagues.”
In addition to paid parental leave, some of the “opportunities” offered to Citigroup employees touted in the proxy statement involve the company taking a definitive stance on hot-button issues in the culture war.
“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,” the statement reads.
While Citigroup did not mention any particular state by name, the most notable pro-life law passed in 2021 is the Texas Heartbeat Act. The law bans abortions once a heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks gestation. Multiple courts at the state and federal level have upheld the law as pro-abortion groups want the law struck down.
Multiple pro-life groups and politicians reacted unfavorably to Citigroup’s new policy. In a tweet, the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List characterized Citigroup’s new policy as inconsistent with the vow of “forward-thinking companies” to “implement policies to empower working moms.”
Forward-thinking companies: We will implement policies to empower working moms@Citi: Here's some cash to cover travel/accommodation costs so your child can be aborted— Susan B. Anthony List #ModernizeOurLaw (@SBAList) March 16, 2022
How poorly you think of working moms. Shame on you. https://t.co/hF49lv0ZGA
The pro-life advocacy organization told Citigroup that providing employees “some cash to cover travel/accommodation costs so your child can be aborted” shows “how poorly you think of working moms.”
George P. Bush, who is running as a Republican for Texas attorney general, threatened to take action against the financial institution if elected. In a tweet Wednesday, Bush lamented “the ‘travel benefits’ offered by Citigroup” as “nothing but a PR stunt by a ‘woke’ company to support a culture of death.”
Noting that “Texas is a pro-life state,” Bush vowed to hold “actors who attempt to find loopholes in our laws accountable.”
The ‘travel benefits’ offered by Citigroup are nothing but a PR stunt by a ‘woke’ company to support a culture of death. Texas is a pro-life state, and if elected Attorney General, I will hold actors who attempt to find loopholes in our laws accountable.https://t.co/mahRp3925N— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) March 17, 2022
Republican state Rep. Matt Schaefer contends that Citigroup is violating Texas law by vowing to pay for travel expenses so women working in the state can have abortions.
According to Texas state law: “If any person shall designedly administer to a pregnant woman or knowingly procure to be administered with her consent any drug or medicine, or shall use towards her any violence or means whatever externally or internally applied, and thereby procure an abortion, he shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than two nor more than five years.”
It’s a criminal offense to “furnish the means for procuring an abortion knowing the purpose intended.” 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. #txlegepic.twitter.com/tIJp0kyBB4— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) March 16, 2022
“Whoever furnishes the means for procuring an abortion knowing the purpose intended is guilty as an accomplice,” the law declares. Schaefer suggested that Citigroup fell into this category, encouraging the financial organization to “check the law before paying for abortion expenses.”
Citigroup also indicated that it continues to “broaden gender affirmation medical coverage and incorporate it in our basic medical plan coverage around the world.” In other words, the health insurance provided to Citigroup employees pays for people to have sex-change operations and receive hormone drugs.
The enactment of Citigroup’s policy comes ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court’s expected ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. In this case, the state of Mississippi is asking the justices to uphold a 15-week abortion ban. A ruling in favor of Mississippi would weaken the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Citigroup is not the only major company to institute a policy paying for women to obtain abortions following the enactment of the Texas Heartbeat Act.
Shortly after the law went into effect last year, the CEO of Match Group, the parent company of the dating site Match.com, announced that she was “setting up a fund to ensure that if any of our Texas-based employees or a dependent find themselves impacted by this legislation and need to seek care outside of Texas, the fund will help cover the additional costs incurred.”
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org