Saturday’s remarks came after Indiana’s governor on Friday signed a near-total abortion ban shortly after lawmakers approved it. The ban takes effect on September 15 and includes exceptions.
Indianapolis-based Lilly said the company was concerned the law would affect its ability to attract “diverse scientific, engineering and business talent from around the world.” The $292 billion company is one of the largest employers in Indiana, with more than 10,000 of its approximately 37,000 employees worldwide in the state.
Calling abortion a “divisive and deeply personal issue,” the company said it has expanded its health plan coverage to include travel for reproductive services not available locally. Many businesses have made similar adjustments since the US Supreme Court ruled in June that abortion is not a constitutional right.
But Lilly said Saturday that such efforts “may not be enough for some current and potential employees,” according to the statement. “Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside of our state.”
The statement also suggested the law could hurt talent recruitment in Indiana in general.
Cummins, also a large employer in Indiana, said it had shared concerns about the bill with state lawmakers before and during the legislative process. She said that women should have the right to make reproductive health care decisions and that such a capacity is important for equal opportunity and diversity in the workplace.
The law’s provisions “impact our people, hinder our ability to attract and retain top talent and influence our decisions as we continue to grow,” a Cummins spokesman said Saturday. The company, valued at about $31 billion, has about 60,000 employees with about 10,000 in Indiana, according to the spokesman.
Cummins also pays for travel for elective procedures, including reproductive health, the spokesman said.
Indiana is the first state to enact abortion restrictions following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson v. Women’s Health Organization decision. Other states have moved to implement restrictions they had put in place should Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established the constitutional right to abortion.
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has raised new questions for employers about how, if at all, to respond to the decision regarding company policies, whether to speak up, and what to say. Over the past several years, leaders of some of the nation’s largest companies have become more vocal on a range of political and social issues, in part because of pressure from workers.
Some companies across all industries have said they will pay for workers to travel for abortions or other procedures if they need to go out of state, and some have expanded their health insurance coverage to cover abortions or reproductive health services more broadly.
Others have not made accommodations and have stated that they have no plans to do so.
The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce earlier this week said it opposes the state bill, asking lawmakers not to pass it. The chamber highlighted concerns about attracting and retaining workers in the state amid labor shortages, legal risk for doctors and infant and maternal health issues.
“Over the past two weeks, the Indiana General Assembly has debated meaningful policy change on the issue of abortion in a compressed time frame. Such an expedited legislative process — the rush to advance state policy on big, complex issues — is at best detrimental to Hoosiers and at worst reckless,” the chamber said in a statement.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, in a statement after the measure was signed, said, “I am personally very proud of every Hoosier who came forward to courageously share their views in a debate that is unlikely to stop anytime soon.” He added that he would continue to “keep his ears open.”
Write to Emily Glazer at email@example.com
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