Indiana’s governor signed into law a near-total abortion ban on Friday, making the state the first to approve sweeping new restrictions since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June.
On Saturday morning, one of Indiana’s biggest employers, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, issued a strong objection to the new restrictions. “Given this new law,” he said in a statement, “we will be forced to plan for greater job growth outside of our home country.”
The company, which employs more than 10,000 people in Indiana, began by saying that “abortion is a divisive and deeply personal topic with no clear consensus among the citizens of Indiana.” He noted that Eli Lilly has expanded its employee health plan coverage to include travel for reproductive services. But, he added, “that may not be enough for some current and potential employees.”
He was among the first major employers in the state to weigh in on the new law.
Shortly after, Jon Mills, spokesman for Cummins, an engine company that employs about 10,000 people in the state, said: “The right to make decisions about reproductive health ensures that women have the same opportunity for others to fully participate in our workforce. and that our workforce is diverse. Certain provisions of the bill conflict with this, impacting our employees and hindering our ability to attract and retain top talent. He added that Cummins healthcare benefits cover elective reproductive health procedures, including medical travel benefits.
Mr Mills also said that “before and during the legislative process, we shared our concerns about this legislation with legislative leaders”.
Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical company with its North American headquarters in Indianapolis, had no immediate comment. Other companies with headquarters or large offices in Indiana did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
After the Supreme Court ruling, few companies directly weighed in on the decision. Many more said they would expand their employer’s health care coverage to cover travel and other expenses for employees who may need out-of-state treatment.
Some companies with a big presence in Indiana have previously said they will cover employee travel. In June, Kroger said it would cover up to $4,000 in travel costs for employees on its health care plan. Software company Salesforce, which has about 2,300 employees in Indianapolis, also said it would move employees who want to leave states where abortion is banned. Neither immediately responded to a request for comment.
In his statement, Eli Lilly described Indiana’s law as “one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States.” He continues, “As a global company headquartered in Indianapolis for more than 145 years, we work hard to retain and attract the thousands of people who are important drivers of our state’s economy. Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for greater job growth outside of our home country.