Large Indiana employers Eli Lilly and Cummins speak out about the state’s new restrictive abortion law

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An Eli Lilly and Company pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is pictured at 50 ImClone Drive in Branchburg, New Jersey, March 5, 2021.
Mike Segar | Reuters

Drugmaker Eli Lilly, one of the biggest employers in Indiana, said that the state’s newly passed law restricting abortions will cause the company to grow away from its home turf.

Lilly said in a statement on Saturday that it recognizes abortion as a “divisive and deeply personal issue with no clear consensus among the citizens of Indiana.”

“Despite this lack of agreement, Indiana has opted to quickly adopt one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States,” Eli Lilly said. “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. Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state.”

Indiana’s Legislature on Friday became the first in the nation to pass new legislation restricting access to abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The state was among the earliest Republican-run state legislatures to debate tighter abortion laws after the Supreme Court ruling in June that removed constitutional protections for the procedure.

Lilly employs about 10,000 people in Indiana, where it has been headquartered in Indianapolis for more than 145 years.

It joins a growing list of companies, including tech giant Apple and denim retailer Levi Strauss that are offering their employees resources for reproductive care in states where restrictions have been put into place.

Eli Lilly noted Saturday that although the pharmaceutical company has expanded its employee health plan coverage to include travel for reproductive services, “that may not be enough for some current and potential employees.”

Indiana’s abortion ban is expected to go into effect on Sept. 15. It comes with some exceptions, including for cases of rape or incest, and for protecting the mother’s life.

President Joe Biden‘s administration has also condemned Indiana’s decision. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called it a “devastating step.”

“And, it’s another radical step by Republican legislators to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedom, and put personal health-care decisions in the hands of politicians rather than women and their doctors,” she said in a statement.

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