INDIANAPOLIS – Some of Indiana’s largest employers are speaking out against the state’s near-total ban on abortion that takes effect next month.
Starting September 15, the new law bans abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, lethal fetal anomaly and serious risk to the mother’s health.
Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law late Friday night, roughly an hour after it received final passage in the Indiana Senate.
Hours after Holcomb signed the bill, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co., which is based in Indianapolis, released a statement that reads, in part, “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… Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state.”
Columbus-based engine manufacturer Cummins echoed those concerns about recruitment, saying, in part, “Cummins believes that women should have the right to make reproductive healthcare decisions as a matter of gender equity… As we continue to grow our footprint… this law will be considered in our decision-making process.”
Those employers join IU Health and the Indy Chamber of Commerce, which spoke out against the legislation before it was passed.
Kyle Anderson, an economist at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, said he believes the new abortion law will likely cost Indiana jobs.
“If we’re having more brain drain because of our social policies or it’s harder to bring talent here, that’s going to have a significant impact,” Anderson said.
Political experts point out the business community can have an influence on the Statehouse, though it likely won’t bring change immediately in this case. Lawmakers aren’t scheduled to return to the Capitol until next year.
“It’s probably notable that the chamber of commerce issued a statement saying we think we should go slower in this process, and then literally the very next day it was signed from a bill into a law,” said Laura Wilson, associate professor of political science at the University of Indianapolis.
Neither Gov. Holcomb nor Republican legislative leaders have commented on the statements from Eli Lilly and Cummins.