(Bloomberg) -- Eli Lilly & Co., one of Indiana’s largest employers, said the state’s freshly passed restrictions on abortion would force the drug maker to “plan for more employment growth outside our home state.”
A growing list of companies, including Citigroup Inc., Apple Inc., Bumble Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co., are offering benefits for reproductive-care services in states that have imposed restrictions. But Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly’s announcement marks a swift escalation by a multinational that employs 10,000 people in Indiana, where the drug maker was founded in 1876.
Indiana on Friday became the first US state to pass anti-abortion legislation since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. About a dozen other states had so-called “trigger laws” pre-approved by legislatures to go into effect in the event that Roe was struck down.
Lilly recognizes “that abortion is a divisive and deeply personal issue with no clear consensus among the citizens of Indiana,” the company said in a statement Saturday. “Despite this lack of agreement, Indiana has opted to quickly adopt one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States.”
“We are concerned that this law will hinder Lilly’s -- and Indiana’s -- ability to attract diverse scientific, engineering and business talent from around the world,” according to the statement. “Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state.”
Eli Lilly reported $6.5 billion in second-quarter revenue and employs more 37,000 people worldwide.
Indiana’s abortion ban goes into effect on Sept. 15 with some exceptions, including in cases of rape or incest and to protect the mother’s life or physical health.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre called the Indiana legislature’s decision “devastating.”
“It’s another radical step by Republican legislators to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedom, and put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians rather than women and their doctors,” she said in a statement.
Polls consistently show a majority of Americans support abortion rights, and some Republican Party strategists are urging less restrictive local laws amid signs of voter backlash. Voters in Kansas, a state won by Donald Trump by nearly 15 percentage points in 2020, rejected amending the state constitution to allow the state legislature to restrict abortion.
President Joe Biden’s Democrats, facing voter anger over inflation, are seeking to put abortion at the center of difficult midterm elections this fall.
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