On Friday, Indiana’s governor signed a nearly complete ban on abortion, making the state the first to approve sweeping new restrictions since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
One of Indiana’s largest employers, the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, strongly objected to the new restrictions on Saturday morning. “Given this new law,” it said in a statement, “we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside of our own state.”
The company, which employs more than 10,000 people in Indiana, began by saying that “abortion is a divisive and deeply personal issue with no clear consensus among the citizens of Indiana.” It noted that Eli Lilly has expanded employee health plan coverage to include travel for reproductive services. But, it added, “that may not be enough for some current and potential employees.”
It was one of the first major employers in the state to act on the new law.
Shortly afterwards, Jon Mills, a spokesperson for Cummins, an engine company employing about 10,000 people in the state, said: “The right to make decisions about reproductive health ensures that women have the same opportunity as others to participate fully in our workforce and that our workforce is diverse. There are provisions in the bill that contradict this, affect our people and get in the way of attracting and retaining top talent.” He added that Cummins health benefits relate to elective reproductive health procedures, including medical travel benefits.
Mr Mills also said that “prior to and during the legislative process, we shared our concerns about this legislation with the legislative leadership.”
Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical company that has its North American headquarters in Indianapolis, did not immediately comment. Other companies with headquarters or major offices in Indiana did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
After the Supreme Court ruling, few companies immediately weighed in on the ruling. Many more said they would expand their employer insurance coverage to cover travel and other expenses for employees who may need to seek out-of-state reproductive health care.
Some companies with a large presence in Indiana have previously stated that they will cover employee travel. In June, Kroger said it would cover up to $4,000 in employee travel expenses on its health insurance policy. The software company Salesforce, which has about 2,300 employees in Indianapolis, has also said it would relocate employees who want to leave states where abortion is prohibited. Neither of them immediately responded to a request for comment.
In his statement, Eli Lilly described the Indiana law as “one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States.” It continued: “As a global company headquartered in Indianapolis for more than 145 years, we work hard to retain and attract thousands of people who are key drivers of our state’s economy. Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside of our own state.”