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Citi draws ire of Texas GOP over travel benefits for workers seeking abortions

Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand
Supreme Court denies bid to block restrictive Texas abortion law 09:22

Citigroup, the nation's fourth-largest bank, is angering Texas Republicans over its latest workplace benefit: Offering to cover the travel expenses of employees who live in states with restrictive reproductive health care laws, including the state's recently enacted law banning most abortions after six weeks.

Citi disclosed the new policy in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on March 15. The bank stated: "In response to changes in reproductive health care laws in certain states in the U.S., beginning in 2022 we provide travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources."

Republican Party of Texas chairman Matt Rinaldi called the policy "appalling" and said the group is urging Republicans to snub Citi's services. 

"Republicans should avoid entrusting their finances with Citibank and other companies that are hostile to them and their values," Rinaldi said in an emailed statement to CBS MoneyWatch. "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 Texas law, which took effect in September, effectively outlaws abortions in Texas. The measure prohibits abortions after embryonic cardiac activity is detected, which is usually at about six weeks of pregnancy — often before a woman knows she is pregnant. 

The law includes an unusual provision that allows Texas residents to sue clinics, doctors, nurses and even people who drive women to get the procedure. The reward for a successful lawsuit under the new law: at least $10,000.

Texas abortion restrictions remain in effect 03:25

Citi didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The company's new policy was adopted under the leadership of CEO Jane Fraser, the first woman to lead the bank or any major Wall Street firm. But other corporations have also said in recent months they'd help employees in states with restrictive abortion laws. 

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff in September said the company will aid employees who want to move out of Texas if they choose due to the abortion law. And the chief executive of Dallas-based Match Group, Shar Dubey, set up a fund to help any of the company's Texas workers who may need to travel out of state for the procedure.

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