INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company says Indiana’s near-total ban on abortion, signed into law Friday by Gov. Eric Holcomb, could make it more difficult to attract talent and negatively impact plans for future growth in the state.
In a Saturday morning statement, Lilly called the ban “one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the United States.”
“Lilly recognizes that abortion is a divisive and deeply personal issue with no clear consensus among the citizens of Indiana. 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. While we have expanded our employee health plan coverage to include travel for reproductive services unavailable locally, that may not be enough for some current and potential employees.
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.”
Saturday’s statement is in line with recent criticism by Lilly CEO David Ricks, who said in April that the state is not up to the challenge presented by an economy that is increasingly driven by ideas, not just by putting things together.
“Our education attainment in the state is not good. The ability to reskill the workforce, I think, could improve. Health, life and inclusion, overall, I think, conditions rank poorly nationally in our state. And also workforce preparedness, also related to reskilling, is a liability for us,” Ricks said in a speech before The Economic Club of Indiana.
Gov. Holcomb and other Republican leaders rejected Ricks’ criticism, citing a number of recent deals to bring additional business investment to the Hoosier state.
“Obviously our economy is humming when you look at over the momentum that we’ve experience and we are reinvesting, into workforce development programs, into education, into the health and well being of our citizens. Is there more to do? of course. Will our job ever be done? No, we want to make sure that we have set goals that put us at the number one state in the Midwest and the top five state in the country across all the measures that Dave talked and that I talked about as well. So we’re aligned and we have to do better across the board.”
WISH-TV is seeking additional feedback on Lilly’s statement.