Local lawmakers worry the abortion ban could affect business retention and attraction in Indiana

NOW: Local lawmakers worry the abortion ban could affect business retention and attraction in Indiana

NEXT:

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Local lawmakers believe the near-total abortion ban could have an effect on retaining and attracting businesses to Indiana.

State Representative Maureen Bauer said the law, which bans all abortions with limited exceptions, is overreaching, and will hurt an already struggling economy.

Her full statement is as follows:

“Today is a day that will stain Indiana’s history. Today, the Indiana GOP abortion ban goes into effect, which bans all abortions in our state at conception with narrow exemptions for survivors of rape and incest, fatal fetal anomalies, and threats to the health and life of the mother. “Today is a day that will stain Indiana’s history. Today, the Indiana GOP abortion ban goes into effect, which bans all abortions in our state at conception with narrow exemptions for survivors of rape and incest, fatal fetal anomalies, and threats to the health and life of the mother.

Much has already been said on the many flaws of this law and the ideology behind it. We know it will force more pregnant women and girls in Indiana to face real, life-threatening situations, resulting in permanent physical impairment and death, in a state that already has a maternal mortality crisis. We know it will further contribute to, and exacerbate, the brain drain in our state and our ability to solve the worker shortage as more Hoosiers face retirement age. As state representative, I fought this law to the bitter end.

Today, I call Hoosiers to action, that it be the day that we rebuild our state’s culture of civic engagement.

Less focus is given to state legislative races. But our state legislature decides on issues that impact your daily life. Next year, the state legislature will be rebuilding the state’s two-year budget, which will allocate funding for public schools and public safety. State legislators decide on policy regarding who has access to firearms and healthcare. We write the policy on environmental regulations that impact water and air quality. And these state laws are usually written to tie the hands of local governments and their ability to pass any more stringent policy, regardless of the will of the people.

Due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade with the Dobbs ruling this June, state legislatures face the potential of deciding on laws that grant you the right to marry who you love, your freedom to access legal contraception, IVF treatment, and attempt to make other family planning decisions for you. This uncertainty regarding the preservation of these widely popular rights warrants a refocus to state government.

As the late Representative Bill Crawford used to say, “if you're not at the table, you're on the menu.” And given the far-reaching attempts to over-regulate family planning decisions on the most intimate of issues, most Hoosiers are on the menu with no seat at the table right now.

High-barrier, low-access to state government does not benefit residents, and allows unpopular policy positions to get passed and signed into law in the middle of the night, like SB1.

Our state's democracy depends on accountability to the voter. When only three of the 62 House Republicans who voted for the abortion ban have released public statements, that's not accountability.

Today, in honor of those who will have their lives irrevocably altered by this state law, check your voter registration at indianavoters.in.gov. Make sure it's updated. You have until October 11 to register to vote in Indiana. Make a plan to vote early starting Oct. 12 or on Election Day, Nov. 8.

I harbor great hope that we will one day repeal this law because I know how devastating its consequences will be. The first step toward that is rebuilding and renewing a culture of civic engagement in Indiana.”

Bauer, in her statement, called on people to protest—by showing up at the ballot box.

And South Bend Mayor James Mueller shared the same sentiments Thursday, asking Hoosiers to vote to maintain our economic future.

Mueller shared his frustration, saying unpopular laws can contradict all the work being done to try and attract economic growth to Michiana.

“We have companies ready to grow, we have companies ready to locate right here in Indiana, in South Bend,” he said. “But what they need are workers. So, if we’re having trouble keeping the people we already have, Hoosiers that are already here, but also bringing more people and talent into the state, these pieces of extreme legislation make it more difficult for us to do so.”

Leaders with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce claim it is too soon to tell how the ban could affect business retention and attraction in the state.

A statement from President & CEO Kevin Brinegar is as follows:

“The Indiana Chamber did not take a position on the abortion bill. Given that we are a membership organization, we generally only take positions on business issues and when there is strong consensus among our membership base or representative leadership group. Like much of the state, our members have differing viewpoints on social issues, which leads us to not weigh in on those.

“Undoubtedly, there will be some companies and workers that view Indiana less favorably with a more comprehensive abortion prohibition law. But at the same time, there will be others who look at it differently and see Indiana as representing their values. There will not be near consensus on this issue among citizens, business leaders or the country. When you consider that, it is hard to gauge the law’s ultimate effect on talent attraction or the economy.

“While there is attention on Indiana, it should be noted that there are more than 20 states with strict abortion laws. Some were triggered once the Supreme Court decision was handed down while others already were in place – and there likely will be several more.”

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