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Lilly, Visit Indy speak out against abortion law

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hours after Governor Eric Holcomb signed a strict new abortion bill into law, one of Indiana’s largest companies spoke out against the measure.

“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.”

In April, the CEO of Eli Lilly and Co., one of Indiana’s largest employers, was critical of the state’s efforts to address the health and education level of Hoosiers in what will increasingly be an economy driven by ideas, not just by putting things together.

Experts are divided on whether the legislation will be bad for business.

“It’s not just Eli Lilly, I think it’s the tech community, the legal community and young folks looking at where they want to live,” said former Indiana Democratic Party Chair Kip Tew.

It’s possible the legislature could change the law when it returns for its regular session next year.

“Those organizations can make their voices heard with the legislature coming up, and you can take a new look at this issue when you come into the next session,” added Tew.

Visit Indy predicts that the measure’s passing will cause negative waves in the coming years for the state.

“Based on feedback from counterparts in other major cities with similar legislation, SB1 will have a negative impact on tourism in Central Indiana. Exactly how significant remains to be seen. We know there were a handful of conventions already closely watching the Indiana Statehouse over the last few weeks, including Gen Con, who wraps up its annual gathering tomorrow (Sunday),” said Senior Vice President for Visit Indy Chris Gahl.