One of Indiana’s largest employers has threatened to “plan for more job growth” outside the state after lawmakers passed a near-total abortion ban Friday night.
Pharmaceutical heavyweight Eli Lilly and Company, headquartered in Indiana, issued the statement after many Indiana businesses and leaders had been particularly reticent to comment on the state’s position on the issue.
“Lilly recognizes that abortion is a divisive and deeply personal issue with no clear consensus among Indiana residents,” the company said in a statement. “Despite this lack of agreement, Indiana has chosen to quickly pass one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States.
“We are concerned that this law will hinder Lilly’s – and Indiana’s – ability to attract diverse scientific, engineering and business talent from around the world. Although we have expanded employee health plan coverage to include travel for reproductive services that are not available locally, it may not be enough for some current and potential employees.
“As a global company headquartered in Indianapolis for more than 145 years, we work hard to retain and attract thousands of people who are important drivers of the state’s economy. Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more job growth outside of our home state.”
Lilly employs about 10,500 people in Indiana among its nearly 40,000 strong worldwide workforce in 18 countries. The company did not immediately return a request for comment Saturday The independent.
In particular, Politico’s Adam Wren added Saturday morning: “Lilly consistently declined to comment on the legislation before the bill was signed.”
Republican Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the newly restrictive abortion law into law on Friday after it passed without a single Democrat voting for it. The law prohibits abortion except in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormalities and when the life of the pregnant woman is in danger.
Before Lilly’s statement this weekend, many large Indiana employers had been reticent about the issue in a state with a Republican supermajority.
“You have to be careful politically not to anger that supermajority. They have to walk a very careful tightrope with this,” Chad Kinsella, an associate professor of political science and director of the Bowen Center at Ball State University, told the Indianapolis Business Journal last month.
The Supreme Court in June overturned the 1973 Roe v Wade decision, which had federally safeguarded abortion rights, leaving the issue to the states to decide. Legal wrangling remains in dozens of states, particularly those that tried to pass so-called trigger bans that limit the proceedings once the Supreme Court decision was handed down.
Indiana on Friday became the first to pass an almost total abortion ban, although some Republican state lawmakers believe the law did not go far enough and that no exceptions should be allowed. The new law comes into force on 15 September.
Another major employer in the state, Indiana University Health, as well has issued a statement Saturday after the Indiana Legislature passed the new regulations.
“At IU Health, we take seriously our responsibility to provide access to compassionate and safe, high-quality health care for everyone who needs it,” the employer said in a statement. “IU Health’s priority remains ensuring that our doctors and patients have clarity when making pregnancy decisions within the bounds of the law.
“We will take the next few weeks to understand the terms of the new law and how to incorporate the changes into our medical practices to protect our providers and care for people seeking reproductive health care.”