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How will companies react to draconian abortion bans?


Will be interesting to see if this kind of talk ultimately means anything:

On Friday, the governor of Indiana signed into law a near-total abortion ban, making the state the first to approve sweeping new restrictions since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

On Saturday morning, one of Indiana’s biggest employers, the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, issued a strong objection to the new restrictions. “Given this new law,” it said in a statement, “we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state.”

The company, which employs more than 10,000 people in Indiana, began by saying that “abortion is a divisive and deeply personal issue with no clear consensus among the citizens of Indiana.” It noted that Eli Lilly has expanded its employee health plan coverage to include travel for reproductive services. But, it added, “that may not be enough for some current and potential employees.”

It was among the first major employers in the state to weigh in on the new law.

Shortly after, Jon Mills, a spokesman for Cummins, an engine company that employs about 10,000 people in the state, said: “The right to make decisions regarding reproductive health ensures that women have the same opportunity as others to participate fully in our work force and that our work force is diverse. There are provisions in the bill that conflict with this, impact our people and impede our ability to attract and retain top talent.” He added that Cummins’s health care benefits cover elective reproductive health procedures, including medical travel benefits.

There’s good reason to wonder if this talk about growing elsewhere is just guff (cf. companies refusing to donate to seditionist legislators…for about two weeks.) Having said that, employee recruitment and retention is a real issue — if you’re a young professional with skills, how excited are you going to be to move to or remain in a state where you can get arrested for having a miscarriage? In Florida and Texas, which have vibrant urban centers that a lot of people want to move to for other reasons, the effects might be less pronounced, but for states already having brain drain issues this is likely to just make things worse.

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