Indiana’s Big Employers Eli Lilly and Cummins Speak Out on the State’s Restrictive New Abortion Law
An Eli Lilly and Company pharmaceutical manufacturing plant is pictured at 50 ImClone Drive in Branchburg, New Jersey on March 5, 2021.
Mike Segar | Reuters
Drugmaker Eli Lilly, one of Indiana’s largest employers, said the state’s recently passed law restricting abortions will drive the company’s growth outside its territory.
Lilly said in a statement 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 chose to quickly pass one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States,” Eli Lilly said. “We are concerned that this law will impede Lilly’s – and Indiana’s – ability to attract diverse scientific, technical and business talent from around the world. Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for greater growth of employment outside our home country.”
The Indiana legislature on Friday became the first in the nation to pass new legislation restricting abortion access since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. The state was among the first Republican-led state legislatures to debate tougher abortion laws after the Supreme Court’s June ruling that removed constitutional protections for the procedure.
Lilly employs approximately 10,000 people in Indiana, where it has been headquartered in Indianapolis for more than 145 years.
Cummins, an engine manufacturing company that also employs about 10,000 people in Indiana, also spoke out over the weekend against the new law.
“The right to make decisions about reproductive health ensures that women have the same opportunity as others to fully participate in our workforce and that our workforce is diverse,” a spokesperson said. company in a press release.
“There are provisions in the law that conflict with this, impact our employees, hinder our ability to attract and retain top talent, and influence our decisions as we continue to grow our footprint with a focus on selecting welcoming and inclusive environments,” the Cummins spokesperson said. said.
The two companies join 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 in place.
Eli Lilly noted on Saturday that although the pharmaceutical company has expanded the coverage of its employee health plan to include travel for reproductive services, “that may not be enough for some current and potential employees.”
Indiana’s abortion ban is set to go into effect September 15. It is accompanied by a few exceptions, in particular for cases of rape or incest, and to protect the life of the mother.
President Joe Biden’s administration also condemned Indiana’s decision. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called it a “devastating step”.
“And it’s another sweeping step by Republican lawmakers to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedoms and put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians instead of women and their doctors,” he said. she said in a statement.