On Friday, the governor of Indiana signed into law a near-total abortion ban, making the state the first to approve sweeping new restrictions since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
On Saturday morning, one of Indiana’s biggest employers, the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, issued a strong objection to the new restrictions. “Given this new law,” it said in a statement, “we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home 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 its 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 among the first major employers in the state to weigh in on the new law.
Shortly after, Jon Mills, a spokesman for Cummins, an engine company that employs about 10,000 people in the state, said: “The right to make decisions regarding reproductive health ensures that women have the same opportunity as others to participate fully in our work force. and that our work force is diverse. There are provisions in the bill that conflict with this, impact our people and impede our ability to attract and retain top talent.” I have added that Cummins’s health care benefits cover 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 legislative leadership.”
Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical company that has its North American headquarters in Indianapolis, did not have an immediate comment. Other companies with headquarters or large offices in Indiana did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
After the Supreme Court’s decision, few companies weighed in directly on the ruling. Far more did they say they would expand their employer health care coverage to cover travel and other expenses for employees who may need to seek reproductive health care out of state.
Some companies with a large presence in Indiana have previously stated that they will cover travel for employees. In June, Kroger said that it would cover up to $4,000 in travel expenses for employees on its health care plan. The software company Salesforce, which has about 2,300 employees in Indianapolis, has also said that 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 the Indiana law as “one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States.” It went on: “As a global company headquartered in Indianapolis for more than 145 years, we work hard to retain and attract thousands of people who are important drivers of our state’s economy. Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state.”