August 6, 2022

Eli Lilly plans for growth in other states after Indiana passes abortion ban


Eli Lilly employs more than 10,000 people in Indianapolis. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Eli Lilly employs more than 10,000 people in Indianapolis.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The morning after Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a near-total abortion ban into law, one of the state’s largest employers said the new restrictions will hinder its ability to attract talent.

“Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state,” pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, said in a statement. 

The statement was the first comment Eli Lilly, which employs more than 10,400 people in Indianapolis, has made on the legislation.

“Lilly recognizes that abortion is a divisive and deeply personal issue with no clear consensus among the citizens of Indiana,” the statement said. “Despite this lack of agreement, Indiana has opted to quickly adopt one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States.”

The new law, which goes into effect Sept. 15, bans nearly all abortions. The only cases when abortions will remain legal are if the pregnant person’s serious health or life is at risk; if there’s a lethal fetal anomaly up to 20 weeks post-fertilization; and in cases of rape or incest up to 10 weeks post-fertiliziation. 

Lilly also joined other large employers, including Kroger and Amazon, in pledging to cover travel for reproductive services unavailable locally.

IU Health, another of the state’s top employers, said in a statement it would “take the next few weeks to fully understand the terms of the new law and how to incorporate the changes into our medical practice to protect our providers and care for the people seeking reproductive health care.”

Indiana was the first state to approve new abortion restrictions after the Supreme Court ruling in June overturning of Roe v. Wade. 

The ban also drew criticism from the Biden administration, which issued a statement Saturday morning. 

“The Indiana legislature took a devastating step as a result of the Supreme Court’s extreme decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate women’s constitutionally-protected right to abortion,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “Yesterday’s vote, which institutes a near-total abortion ban in Indiana, should be a signal to Americans across the country to make their voices heard. Congress should also act immediately to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe – the only way to secure a woman’s right to choose nationally.”

Contact WFYI education reporter Dylan Peers McCoy at dmccoy@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @dylanpmccoy.

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