By Cheryl Sullenger
Austin, TX – Texas State Representative Briscoe Cain has ordered Citigroup, Inc. and all Texas abortion funds to immediately stop funding abortions in Texas and providing funds for Texas women to travel to other states to receive abortions because such actions violate Texas law.
Citigroup recently pledged to cover travel expenses for its employees who travel outside their home states to obtain abortions. Citigroup has approximately 8,500 employees in Texas.
According to a written statement, Rep. Cain’s letter warned Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser that “it’s officers and employees will face criminal prosecution if Citigroup does not immediately terminate coverage of elective abortions performed in Texas in its employee benefit plans.
Cain explained that “existing Texas law imposes felony criminal liability on any person who ‘furnishes the means for procuring an abortion knowing the purpose intended.’ This prohibits Citigroup from paying for elective abortions performed in Texas or covering those abortions in its employee-benefits plan.”
Cain called Citigroup’s decision to fund employee abortions and their travel expenses a “grotesque abuse of the fiduciary duty that you owe to many shareholders of your company that oppose abortion.”
In a separate letter sent to every abortion fund in Texas, Cain noted that violations of the Texas law that prohibits anyone from furnishing funding to pay for abortions in Texas carry serious criminal penalties, including two to five years imprisonment, and warned that “employees, volunteers. And donors of abortion funds will be criminally prosecuted if they do not immediately halt their illegal acts and stop paying for abortions performed in Texas.”
“These are criminal organizations,” said Cain. “It is a crime to pay for another person’s abortion in Texas and anyone who gives money to these abortion funds will be prosecuted.”
At least one local district attorney is refusing to enforce the law, leaving open a loophole that abortion funds are using to break the law with impunity.
Cain has promised that in the next legislative session, he will introduce a bill to close that loophole by empowering district attorneys statewide to prosecute violations of Texas abortion laws when the local district attorney fails or refuses to do so.
“We will fix this problem in our next session,” Cain said. “Anyone involved with these abortion funds will be held accountable for their crimes.”
“Texas abortion laws were enacted to protect innocent life, protect women from exploitation and harm, and provide accountability for those who are willing to pay to harm another human being, whether in the womb or out,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Laws are useless unless they can be enforced, and we applaud Rep. Briscoe Cain for his effort to ensure that Texas abortion laws are enforced.”