House Republicans want to scrap Citi contracts on bank abortion benefits

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Dozens of Republican lawmakers are urging the United States to cancel government contracts with Citigroup after the banking giant offered to pay travel costs for employees seeking abortions.

Citi, the nation’s fourth-largest bank, provides credit cards to members of the House of Representatives to pay for flights, office supplies and other goods. Rep. Mike Johnson and 44 other lawmakers are urging House Administrative Director Catherine Szpindor to rescind the contract, arguing that the legislature has long adhered to a policy of not funding abortions with taxpayer dollars.

“By offering to pay its employees in their efforts to end the lives of unborn children, Citi has lost its privilege to do business with the House of Representatives,” the Louisiana lawmaker and fellow Republicans wrote in a statement. of April 5. letter in Szpindor.

The controversy over Citi’s stance on abortion highlights the focus on corporate policies on burning issues. Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is in a row with The Walt Disney Co. over his opposition to a state law limiting sex and gender education in schools. And in Texas, companies like Apple, Alphabet, Johnson & Johnson, Macy’s and REI have recently condemned an order from Governor Greg Abbott who equate gender-affirming health care for transgender adolescents with child abuse.

Companies take a stand

Citigroup added the Republican-maligned travel benefit to its workplace offerings after several states enacted restrictive reproductive health care laws. Texas now bans most abortions after six weeks, effectively banning the procedure in the state. The chairman of the Republican Party of Texas last month urged Republicans not to use CitiServices.

Citi disclosed the new policy in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on March 15. The bank said, “In response to changes in reproductive health laws in some states in the United States, beginning in 2022, we are offering travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources. »


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A Citi spokesperson declined to comment, while a spokesperson for Szpindor’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Many large companies have been offering to cover the costs of workers who have abortions for the past year. Citi’s new policy echoes those of other companies, including Apple and Hewlett Packard, which help cover out-of-state travel for medical procedures.

Citi’s new policy was adopted under the leadership of CEO Jane Fraser, the first woman to lead the bank or any big Wall Street company. But other companies have also said in recent months that they will help employees in states with restrictive abortion laws.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in September that the company will help employees who want to leave Texas because of state abortion restrictions. And Dallas-based Match Group chief executive Shar Dubey has set up a fund to help any Texan employees at the company who may need to travel out of state for the procedure.

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