Cummins speaks out against Indiana’s abortion ban, saying it will factor into decisions ‘where it decides to grow’

Noon update

Cummins Inc. has spoken out against a near-total abortion ban passed by Indiana legislators and signed into law on Friday, saying that the restrictions could impact the company’s ability to attract and retain employees and will factor into decisions on where it decides to grow.

The statements from the Columbus-based company come after Indiana became the first state in the nation to approve such legislation since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a 1973 landmark case that had protected the right to abortion nationwide, The Associated Press reported.

Cummins is the largest employer in Bartholomew County, with about 8,000 employees in the Columbus area. Its global headquarters are in Columbus.

“We are deeply concerned about how this law impacts our people and impedes our ability to attract and retain a diverse workforce in Indiana concerns that we have voiced to legislators,” Cummins said in a message to employees. “Cummins believes that women should have the right to make reproductive healthcare decisions as a matter of gender equity, ensuring that women have the same opportunity as others to participate fully in the workforce and that our workforce is diverse. This law is contrary to this goal and we oppose it.”

Cummins joins Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly in condemning the abortion ban. Eli Lilly, which employs 10,400 people at its Indianapolis headquarters, has warned that the ban could lead it to reassess its presence in Indiana.

“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,” the company said in a statement Saturday. “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.”

“Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state,” it said.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.

ORIGINAL STORY

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Cummins has released a statement following the passage of legislation banning abortion in Indiana, with some exceptions.

“We are deeply concerned about how this law impacts our people and impedes our ability to attract and retain a diverse workforce in Indiana – concerns that we have voiced to legislators,” the company said in a message sent to employees on Saturday. “Cummins believes that women should have the right to make reproductive healthcare decisions as a matter of gender equity, ensuring that women have the same opportunity as others to participate fully in the workforce and that our workforce is diverse. This law is contrary to this goal and we oppose it.”

The company will continue to provide reproductive health benefits to employees where possible.

Eli Lilly and Co., one of the largest and oldest companies in Indiana, announced Saturday it will look outside the state for corporate expansion projects in the wake of a sweeping abortion ban passed by the Legislature on Friday.

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker said the abortion law could hinder its ability to attract diverse scientific, engineering and business talent to Indiana.

Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law late Friday a Republican-backed bill that will ban virtually all abortions in Indiana, making it the first state to enact abortion-restricting legislation since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

The ban takes effect on Sept. 15, at which point Indiana will have one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation.

“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,” the company said in a statement. “Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state.”

A Lilly spokeswoman said the company plans to honor its current commitments in Indiana. In May, it announced plans  to spend $2.1 billion to open two manufacturing sites in Boone County. The project is expected to create up to 500 permanent jobs, along with as many as 1,500 temporary construction jobs at the site north of Lebanon and east of Interstate 65.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.