South Dakota’s Governor and Legislature have taken no action to ensure that its favored trust industry isn’t supporting the murderous Russian regime’s war against Ukraine. So don’t expect the state to impose any sanctions on the bank that founded South Dakota’s contemporary model of usury as economic growth and helped spawn our trust industry, Citigroup, for helping its employees in oppressive states travel to terminate their pregnancies:
“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,” Citi (C) said in a letter to shareholders Wednesday as part of its annual proxy statement.
Citi’s new policy covers employees’ expenses when traveling to seek an abortion, including plane tickets and hotels, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The company declined to comment beyond what it published in its proxy [David Goldman, “Citi’s Response to Abortion Bans: We’ll Pay for Workers to Travel,” CNN, 2022.03.16].
Citigroup has been making money in Sioux Falls since 1981, and now some of that money is helping women in Texas and other right-wing enclaves escape and end their pregnancies—or, as consistent Republican legislators ought to be screaming, “killing the defenseless“!!! But since South Dakota Republicans refuse to take their campaign agitprop to its logical legal conclusion—drop the statutory distinction of “fetal homicide” from “homocide”, classify abortion as first-degree murder, subject doctors who perform abortion to life imprisonment or the death penalty, and prosecute and imprison women for contract killing if they seek abortions—we can’t really expect them to tell Citigroup to leave Sioux Falls…
…or take any practical stand against other popular companies that are supporting their employees’
murder of babies reproductive choice:
- Apple, which has a big presence in Texas, confirmed to Axios that its health insurance policies cover abortions, including travel fees if needed.
- It’s possible other employers have similar health insurance policies, but they haven’t been talking about them.
- The CEO of Match, another dating company, funded a program with Planned Parenthood to ensure her Texas-based employees receive safe and legal care.
- Dating app company Bumble helped create a relief fund, in conjunction with advocacy groups, to help women pay for reproductive care in Texas [Emily Peck, “Ignoring Abortion Access Is Getting Harder for Companies,” Axios, 2022.03.18].
Texas Republican Party chair Matt Rinaldi is calling on Texans to boycott Citigroup for this “appalling” policy. South Dakota boycotts companies who boycott Israel, but faced with politically objectionable behavior from one of South Dakota’s corporate behemoths, South Dakota Republicans will likely default to senior Republican legislator Al Novstrup’s mealy-mouthed position that boycotts break relationships. So expect South Dakota Republicans to keep swiping their Citi cards, fingering their iPhones, and looking for love on Match.com.
Bonus Bother for Anti-Bank Bigots: If South Dakota Republicans want to bolster their toothless anti-woke whimpers against big banks, they should read Citigroup’s line right after the statement about paying for travel for abortions:
We continue to broaden gender affirmation medical coverage and incorporate it in our basic medical plan coverage around the world [Citigroup Inc., “2022 Notice of Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement,” filed with Securities and Exchange Commission, 2022.03.15].
But in the same paragraph, Citigroup says it supports employees’ fertility treatments, adoption, and surrogacy:
We have enhanced our fertility coverage and our support of young families however they are formed. Citi’s new Adoption and Surrogacy Assistance Program provides reimbursement to help with certain expenses in the adoption of a child or surrogacy parenting arrangement [Citigroup, 2022.03.15].
So Citigroup supports women, and men becoming women, and men and women who want to have babies. That sounds too morally complicated for any South Dakota Republican to figure out. Republicans will find it much easier to default to their core principle: if put money in our pockets, we’ll shut up and dance.