The Left's Long March through the Institutions captured the banks long ago, but this month it flexed its muscles. Citigroup Bank informed its shareholders that it would begin paying travel expenses for employees to obtain an out-of-state abortion.
The letter thumbed a not-so-subtle nose at Texas's innovative pro-life law, stating, "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." I'll be honest; partisan banking wasn't on my 2022 bingo card, or even my wish list.
Citigroup's grand "virtue" signal is really a smokescreen to obscure a blatant attempt to reduce its costs at the employees' expense. The abortion lobby's pity narrative of poor women unable to afford interstate travel is hardly relevant to bankers with salaries in the six digits. Citigroup, however, does save a pretty penny by subsidizing abortion-related travel, rather than paying 16 weeks of pregnancy leave. The hidden motive behind Citigroup's new abortion policy is to undermine their legally obligated duty to women who want to raise a child by making abortion a more enticing option.
But Citigroup may have written a check it won't want cashed. For one thing, its new policy may be illegal.
"It's a criminal offense to 'furnish the means for procuring an abortion knowing the purpose intended,'" said Texas Rep. Matt Schaefer, citing the relevant section of Texas law. The "means for procuring an abortion" applies to hotel rooms and airfare abroad just as much as it does to bloody backrooms and rusty equipment nearer to home. Schaefer also suggested shareholders might be able to sue the banking giant because it's "a per se breach of fiduciary duty to use corporate resources for illegal acts."
Another ominous sign was the immediate congratulations from pro-abortion bully Gavin Newsom, who tweeted, "This is the right thing to do. We need more of this from corporate America." Newsom's advice on what is "right" for businesses is questionable, after he broke his own edict to dine at a fancy restaurant with wealthy friends.
If recent demographic trends tell us anything, Americans disagree. After decades of solidly pro-abortion governance, hundreds of thousands of Americans are fleeing the People's Republic of California for states like Texas. For the first time in U.S. history, California lost a Congressional seat in the 2020 census. Meanwhile, Texas gained two. Keep in mind, nobody leaves California for the weather. If Americans will move their whole life to escape California values, imagine how much easier it is to move their bank account.
Texas GOP Chairman Matt Rinaldi (R) suggests that very thing.
"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."
Citibank is signaling the wrong "virtues." Citi should at least hear from its account holders and shareholders.
By the way, Rinaldi's suggestion is perfectly consistent with the American ideal of freedom, now taboo in the socialist state of California. We acknowledge that among certain God-given rights are "life, liberty, and" -- watch closely here -- "the pursuit of happiness." Not the right to kill babies (violating their right to life). Not the right to succeed (businesses are at liberty to fail). But the right to pursue happiness. That entails ensuring your savings don't subsidize something you don't want them to, like abortion. It entails the right to vote with your ballot, with your feet, and even with your banking.
Joshua Arnold is the media coordinator at Family Research Council.
Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on the Family Research Council.