CitiGroup may be concerned about equity, but not when it comes to political views. The U.S. banking firm, in a knee-jerk reaction to Texas's heartbeat law, stunned investors last month by announcing that it would start footing the bill for employees who had to leave the state for an abortion. Hotels and plane tickets will be on us, CEO Jane Fraser declared, staking out radical new territory in the financial sector. Now, a handful of weeks later, CitiGroup is finding out that there's a price to joining the woke bandwagon. And losing Congress's business might be one of them.
CitiGroup, who's been trying to rebrand as the "bank with a soul," will have a tough time persuading people of that now that it's put its company in the crosshairs of human dignity. Their move is even more ironic, FRC's Mary Szoch points out, after Fraser blazed new trails on paid parental leave -- expanding those benefits to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave or four weeks of paid parental leave. Did that policy become too expensive or something, Szoch asks? Because now CitiGroup is taking the exact opposite approach -- incentivizing abortion and putting themselves at complete odds with the family-friendliness they pretended to champion.
That fact hasn't escaped conservatives' notice, who are outraged that a major financial institution would insist on such a public partnership with the culture of death. As one of CitiGroup's largest clients, the U.S. House has a solution: cut ties with the banking firm completely. For years, the New York company has been the sole provider of members' credit cards for official travel and office expense -- but after this, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) insists, "Citi has forfeited the privilege of doing business with Congress."
Together with 45 other members, Johnson sent a letter to House Chief Administrative Office Catherine Szpindor, arguing that the ban on taxpayer-funded abortion should rule out CitiGroup as a banking partner. "By choosing to underwrite travel to abortions for its employees, Citi has explicitly staked out its position to advance the liberal agenda of abortion-on-demand and has shown no regard for whether a particular state's laws are in place to protect the safety of a woman and her child," they wrote.
"It has long been the policy of our legislative branch of government that taxpayer dollars not be used to fund abortion. By offering to pay its employees in their efforts to terminate the lives of the unborn, Citi has forfeited its privilege of doing business with the House of Representatives. That is why we implore you to immediately terminate the House's existing contracts with Citigroup, Inc. and refrain from entering into any new contractual agreements with the company."
Considering the amount Congress is charging, the threat should carry significant weight. And CitiGroup stands to lose a lot more than profits with its wokeness, Texas Republicans insist. According to state Rep. Matt Schafer (R), Fraser isn't just breaking customers' trust -- she might be breaking the law. "It's a criminal offense to 'furnish the means for procuring an abortion knowing the purpose intended,'" he tweeted. "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... Also, [it]s a per se breach of fiduciary duty to use corporate resources for illegal acts. Any shareholders interested in suing?" he asks.
Like most conservatives, Schafer joined the call for Americans to stop entrusting their money to CitiGroup, arguing that it's just one in a long line of decisions the company has made that's hostile to family values. "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." As if to prove his point, Fraser added to investors' angst, announcing in the company's quarterly statement that CitiGroup will also ramp up its transgender activism, "broaden[ing] gender affirmation medical coverage and incorporat[ing] it into our basic medical plan coverage around the world."
So, not only are clients' dollars funding the destruction of innocent life -- they're also paving the path for unlimited gender mutilation and confusion. That should be a bridge too far for most Americans, who are sick of the Apples, Disneys, and Mars of the world using their influence to redefine truth for a generation who's never needed it more. Do your part. Contact CitiGroup (@Citi on Twitter or www.facebook.com/citi) and voice your disgust at their policy. And while you're at it, thank these congressmen for having the courage to stand up and fight it!