Eli Lilly might look outside of its home of Indiana for future hiring after the state’s governor on Friday signed into law a near-total ban on abortion. The Indianapolis-headquartered drugmaker, which is a major employer in the state, criticized the law in a statement issued over the weekend.
With the law, Indiana became the first state to pass new legislation banning abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The ban, which takes effect Sept. 15, provides exceptions if the mother’s life is in danger or in the event of lethal fetal anomalies, as well as in cases of rape and incest. Under the law, doctors who perform illegal abortions will have their medical licenses revoked.
Lilly, which employs over 10,000 workers in Indiana, said in its statement that it’s "concerned that this law will hinder Lilly's – and Indiana's – ability to attract diverse scientific, engineering and business talent from around the world.”
Lilly has expanded medical coverage for its employees to cover costs for abortion services that are not available locally — a move that many other employers such as JPMorgan Chase, Salesforce and Apple made in the wake of local abortion bans and the Supreme Court’s decision. But Lilly said in a statement that medical benefits “may not be enough for some current and potential employees.” Therefore, the company might look to hire outside of Indiana.
“Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state,” the company added.
Lilly has been headquartered in Indiana since its founding in 1876 and has invested billions of dollars in the state. Most recently, in May, the company announced plans to spend $2.1 billion to construct two manufacturing plants, which will add 500 jobs as well as temporary positions for around 1,500 workers.
Lilly has spoken out against legislation in the state before. The company voiced similar concerns about losing workers in the wake of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed in 2015, and lobbied against the bill.
Cummins, another major employer in the state, also spoke out against the abortion law.
According to Cummins’ statement, the company believes “women should have the right to make reproductive healthcare decisions.” The engine manufacturing company also pays for expenses that include traveling for reproductive services.