Biden Administration, Eli Lilly Condemns New Indiana Abortion Ban

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Protesters fill the hallways of the Indiana Statehouse and outside the legislative chambers Friday as lawmakers vote to pass a nearly complete abortion ban in Indianapolis. (Arleigh Rodgers/The US Express News)

President Biden’s administration and one of Indiana’s largest employers have condemned the state’s new abortion ban, and the White House again called it an extreme attempt by Republicans to trample on women’s rights.

Indiana Friday became the first state in the nation to pass such legislation since the U.S. Supreme Court quashed a landmark 1973 case that had protected the right to abortion nationwide.

“The Indiana legislature has taken a devastating step as a result of the Supreme Court’s extreme decision to overthrow Roe v. Wade and abolish women’s constitutionally protected right to abortion,” White House press secretary Karine said. Jean-Pierre, in a statement Saturday. it is another radical move by Republican lawmakers to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedom and put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians rather than women and their doctors.”

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The ban, which comes into effect on September 15, includes some exceptions. Abortions will be allowed in cases of rape and incest, before 10 weeks after conception; to protect the life and physical health of the woman; and if a fetus is diagnosed with a fatal abnormality. Victims of rape and incest are not required to sign a notarized affidavit confirming an attack, as was once proposed.

By law, abortions can only be performed in hospitals or outpatient clinics owned by hospitals, meaning all abortion clinics will lose their license. A doctor who performs an illegal abortion or fails to submit the required reports will lose his medical license.

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co., which employs 10,400 people at its Indianapolis headquarters, warned the ban could lead it to reassess its presence in Indiana.

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“We are concerned that this law will hinder Lilly’s — and Indiana’s — ability to attract diverse scientific, technical and business talent from around the world,” the company said in a statement Saturday. “While we have expanded coverage of our employee health plan to include travel for reproductive services that are not available 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 of our own state,” it said.

Lilly has research and development centers in New York City and the Californian cities of San Diego and San Francisco, and this year announced it would build a $700 million genetic medicine hub in Boston.

Lilly was not among more than 250 companies to oppose abortion restrictions in a letter released July 21 by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Indianapolis Star reported.

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IU Health, Indiana’s largest health care system, said it was studying the new law.

“IU Health’s priority remains to ensure that our physicians and patients have clarity when making pregnancy decisions within the limits of the law. We will take time in the coming weeks to fully understand the terms of the new law and how we can incorporate the changes in our medical practice to protect our healthcare providers and care for the people seeking reproductive health care,” a statement said. .

The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce urged the General Assembly to proceed with caution.

“For the past two weeks, the Indiana General Assembly has been debating a substantial policy change on abortion in a compressed timeframe,” the chamber said in a statement Thursday. “Such an accelerated legislative process — rushing to advance state policy on broad, complex issues — is harmful at best to Hoosiers and reckless at worst.”

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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