Eli Lilly, Cummins Speak Out Against Indiana’s Ban on Most Abortions
The Saturday statements came after Indiana’s governor on Friday signed a near-total ban on abortions shortly after lawmakers approved it. The ban takes effect Sept. 15 and includes exceptions.
Lilly, based in Indianapolis, said the company is concerned the law will impact its ability to attract “diverse scientific, engineering and business talent from around the world.” The company, with a market capitalization of $292 billion, is one of the biggest employers in Indiana, with more than 10,000 of its approximately 37,000 global workers 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 unavailable locally. Many businesses have made similar adjustments since the U.S. Supreme Court in June said abortion wasn’t a constitutional right.
But Lilly said Saturday 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 our home state.”
The statement also suggested the law could hurt recruitment of talent to Indiana broadly.
Cummins, also a major employer in Indiana, said it had shared its concerns about the bill with state legislators before and during the legislative process. It said women should have the right to make reproductive healthcare decisions, and that such an ability was important to equal opportunity and diversity in the workplace.
Provisions in the law “impact our people, impede our ability to attract and retain top talent and influence our decisions as we continue to grow,” a Cummins spokesman said on Saturday. The company, valued at about $31 billion, has around 60,000 employees with around 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 approve abortion restrictions following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. Other states moved to implement restrictions they had in place in the event that Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion, was overturned.
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has created new questions for employers on how, if at all, to respond to the decision in terms of corporate policies, whether to speak up and what to say. For the last several years, leaders of some of the country’s largest companies have become more vocal on a range of political and social issues, partly due to pressure they have felt from employees.
A number of companies across industries have said they would pay for employees’ travel for abortions or other procedures should they need to go out of state, and some expanded what their health insurance covers as it relates to abortions or reproductive health services more broadly.
Others haven’t made accommodations and have indicated they have no plans to do so.
Indianapolis’s Chamber of Commerce earlier this week said it opposed the state bill, asking lawmakers not to pass it. The chamber flagged concerns about attracting and retaining employees in the state amid workforce shortages, legal risk for doctors, and infant and maternal health issues.
“Over the last two weeks, the Indiana General Assembly has debated a substantial policy change on the issue of abortion in a compressed time frame. Such an expedited legislative process—rushing to advance state policy on broad, complex issues—is, at best, detrimental to Hoosiers, and at worst, reckless,” the chamber said in a statement.
in a statement after he signed the measure, said: “I am personally most proud of each Hoosier who came forward to courageously share their views in a debate that is unlikely to cease anytime soon.” He added that he will continue to “keep an open ear.”
Write to Emily Glazer at [email protected]
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