Illinois officials eye Hoosier companies unhappy with Indiana’s near-total abortion ban

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaking to reporters at a press conference in Chicago on Monday (Photo courtesy of Illinois.gov)

It wasn’t long ago that Indiana launched a concerted marketing campaign to try and lure Illinois businesses to the land of Hoosiers and lower corporate taxes.

Now Illinois is striking back, with prominent politicians asking Hoosier companies unhappy with Indiana’s new abortion restrictions  to consider expanding or relocating to Democrat-controlled Illinois, where abortion is still widely accessible.

Hours after Indiana Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a near-total abortion ban into law last week, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. announced it would look outside the state for corporate expansion projects.

Diesel-engine maker Cummins Inc., one of the state’s largest employers, issued a similar statement, concerned with how the law will impact the company’s ability to  “attract and retain a diverse workforce in Indiana.”

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is taking these companies at their word, offering to become the next place of expansion for the Hoosier corporate stalwarts.

“Already, I’ve reached out to companies that are affected in Indiana,” Pritzker told reporters at a press conference this week. “I want to make sure that they know that they’re welcome in Illinois — any expansion they may be looking to do, we welcome them.”

Indiana was a bit more extravagant in its job-poaching campaign, launched in 2011. The state invested $250,000 in the initiative, boasting its lower corporate and income tax rate as it posed the question on billboards and digital media in The Prairie State: “Illinoyed by higher taxes?”

Pritzker now is pitching Illinois as an “oasis” for abortion care in the Midwest, where a majority of states have restrictive abortion laws on their books.

The state is already working to increase capacity at its existing abortion clinics, Pritzker said.

At the same press conference, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city has been reaching out to Fortune 100 companies since the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. She said she is targeting companies that have policies that “don’t match up” with their home state.

Chad Kinsella, associate professor of political science at Ball State University, said Democratic politicians “have been waiting” for this moment.

“Big picture, this is part of a Democratic strategy to hit back at Republican governors and legislatures who have entered the culture wars and alienated big businesses – long considered an unwavering ally of Republicans,” Kinsella said. “It seems to have caused a wedge between Republicans and big business, which, in the past, seemed unthinkable.”

Indiana officials haven’t responded directly to Pritzker’s overture. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation, which launched the “Illinoyed” campaign, did not respond to IBJ’s request for comment.

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20 thoughts on “Illinois officials eye Hoosier companies unhappy with Indiana’s near-total abortion ban

  1. Unfortunately, it was bad enough attracting businesses to Indiana prior to the abortion ban, now no one will want to come here.
    We can thank our legislators for not thinking this decision through.

    1. They did think it through, Robert H., and they wisely played the long game…and listened to the bulk of Hoosiers, rather than the noisy, obnoxious, hateful pro-aborts who made life miserable for people in the statehouse for about a week.

      The long game means that in the end, you can’t reduce violence in a culture if the culture permits -even encourages- the brutal slaughter of the most innocent among us, especially for financial reasons.

      What was the main argument for retaining slavery in the 1850s? Pure economics. It drove pro-slavery proponents to deny basic human rights to fellow citizens…and without the Right to Life, all other rights are moot points. Think about it.

    2. Hilarious. Illinois has been hemorrhaging businesses left and right for the last 25 years to its neighboring states (all of which have abortion bans), and we’re supposed to believe this? Even many prosperous suburbs to Chicago are now losing population. Chicago city limits and downstate Illinois are a disaster. I’ll at least concede this to be a sort of “hail mary” effort on the part of Illinois Dems, but beyond that, it’s nice to see the enablers they have at the politically corrupt IBJ.

      The only reason companies take political stances one way or another is to chase the almighty dollar. They would rather pay out the short-term costs of an abortion rather than the long term costs for increasingly generous maternity (and sometimes paternity) leave.

      Sorry abortophiles, there’s no principle to these moves from corporate America. If it ultimately costs them more in capital and jeopardizes long term growth, they’ll be staying in Indiana.

      Best thing to do is punish the GOPers this fall who pushed for such an extreme direction, when a strict first-trimester pro-choice approach would have been a reasonable compromise. If I can find enough moderate Dems (something far more difficult these last few years than moderate GOPers), that’s exactly what I’ll do.

  2. Yawn. Illinois would be a decent state if it wasn’t for Cook County [Chicago], where I was born and raised to age 16, although raised downstate among normal people with solid values, typical of most Illinois residents, but constantly run over by the sheer demographics of Cook County. So happy my parents left that God-forsaken corrupt state. What’s the old expression, “Illinois: Where your former Governor may be making your license plates..!”

    On the backs of unborn children to be slaughtered in his state, Pritzker is trying to stem the tide of companies leaving Illinois. Yeah, that oughta work…what a great philosophy; slaughter future residents to increase the state’s population? How does that work if you intend to have a base of residents entering the workforce in 18 years?

    “The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil.”

    1. Can Indianapolis secede from Indiana and join Illinois.

      Remember, West Virginia was once Virginia.

    2. Gasp. Indiana is not a decent state and would be less so without Indianapolis.

      Unborn children can be aborted by the parent in any case, legal or illegal. And this will continue as it did previously and has occurred over decades. Unfortunately, this obsession of some to seek a return to the past will negatively impact the future. Yep, this pleases some egos — some out of genuine concern and many out of hypocritical reaction.

      And for those who advance such incendiary language, what exactly do they proposed to help those babies (they become children later) born to individuals who don’t want them. But once here, many do not drop babies off at the most convenient Hoosier baby box, but maintain them in situations unpleasant, unsupervised, and ill structured for a positive future life.

      Will policies be enacted by those complaining [about what other people do with their pregnancies] to ensure well- baby care, and child care, and parental leave be provided — something that does happen in true first world nations — but not in the USA, a country so much in love with money, all profits are showered on big corporations.

      And is Indiana a stellar state in any list? Many citizens are undereducated. The infrastructure is poor. The opportunities for many people, particularly is smaller enclaves is bleak at best. Many are obese, addicted to meth, and armed. Indiana guns sales support misdeeds in Illinois — oh for the love of money related to these purchases! Hopefully the sales taxes generated indeed benefit the counties in which the gun sales to Illinois residents take place. Which Indiana counties benefit most?

      But one must be clear, Chicago despite its issues is a World City. Not one exists in Indiana. And, despite its issues, Chicago infrastructure is better — and this is the case for all Illinois cities compared to those in Indiana. Indiana has always sought the cheapest means for governing, building, maintaining, and growing; but the so-called cheapest route is often not the best.

      Again, being conservative should not mean being irrational, insensitive, and regressive in design, planning, and financing.

    3. Please, Derek C., move to Chicago-land and live through one winter of driving on constantly-crumbling streets and construction zones and then come back and tell us how much better it is up there.

      Let us know if you need help packing…as Murray R. says, “Bon Voyage!”

    4. Somebody is smoking something:
      “Chicago infrastructure is better… and this is the case for all Illinois cities compared to those in Indiana.” – you have never lived there, have you? Nor in the Quad Cities or Rockford or Peoria or Joliet…shall we go on?

    5. Derek I’m not sure if you even live in Indianapolis or indiana. Didn’t you used to live in San Diego area? If you’re so enamored of Chicago then please by all means move there. I’m sure you will fit right in.

  3. Chicago has become the “old” Detroit. Once a decent and admirable city, but now is a cesspool and focal point for corruption. The abortion angle is laughable, but if you don’t have much to go on try to make up something meaningful.

    1. Amen….any CEO that moves a company to a state with higher employee and operating costs (along with higher taxes)is just asking to get booted out of the company. Another example of business and politics don’t mix….(or more simply…Go Woke…Go Broke).

  4. The back&forth pandering is beyond hilarious and just flat out ridiculous. I do see the motive behind Illinois position on the subject but im a bit confused on Lilly and Cummins, both have benefited immensely from tax incentives ect, prior to this bill and covid. If Illinois is such a better state to do business than Indiana, why didn’t Lilly or Cummings expand there years ago? I could be wrong but I seriously doubt anyone who’s wanting a career with either company, would base their decisions on working in Indiana vs anywhere else in the country. Im not saying people aren’t concerned about these abortion laws coming online in many states besides Indiana but more about job stability and fair pay. Texas is a republic ran state that’s more than likely going to adopting a similar bill, Ive been to Houston, Dallas and Austin and this bill isn’t slowing down any economic growth anywhere in that state. If the quality of life is good and comfortable, people will continue to live and invest there.

  5. LOL. Maybe the pizza place downtown with about 20 employees that apparently all need abortions, can move. Pretty sure they will find the Chicago market harder than grandstanding to the mouth breathing media.

  6. “Dear Shareholders;
    We’re moving to Illinois; the land of high taxes (property, income, gas, etc.), higher cost of living, billions in state debt and billions in unfunded pension obligations which will inevitably raise taxes even higher. Did we mention the higher crime and the “corruption tax’ costs of operating in IL?
    But at least our employees will be able to kill their future generations, and that is the only thing that matters. Aren’t we woke?”
    The soon to be former Sr. Executives and Board Members.

    1. Exactly. I’m nowhere near as hard-line on abortion as the GOP have decided to be–I’d like it to remain legal and rare and safe–but to think that a company would willfully move to a state rated Baa2 by Moody’s (one notch above “junk”) is hilarious.

      Lilly and Cummins can pay for their female staffers an overnighter in Chicago or Danville or Kankakee to get their quickie abortions. It’ll still be cheaper than maternity leave, which is why corporate America is cool with it.

  7. A couple of welcome to Illinois campaigns:

    Welcome to Illinois were not only will we tax every aspect of you life you can murder your unborn children without consequence.

    Illinois a state were you can depend on government to control you life from cradle to grave unless you want to murder you unborn children.

    Welcome to Illinois, if we can’t get them in the womb, will get them on the streets.

  8. Please Bob P. respect the rights of all to make comments. Freedom of speech — perhaps you have some idea what that might be. Why not review your nearby copy of the Constitution as well.

    What one does not need are sophomoric comment that serve to be counterproductive and without merit. A conscientious response would be welcome and beneficial to the city and all citizens. Comments and concerns abound as to opportunities and option to make improvements. Perhaps the greatest impediments to success are those who constant seek to berate and to diminished comments of other.

    Your comment regarding Chicago illustrates great unfamiliarity with the city. Furthermore, most have noticed that crumbling roadways result from winter weather that is not solely as aspect of Chicago.

    Bon journée.

  9. Sorry, Derek C., but I’m not impressed with your commentary. I have too many friends and relatives in the Chicago area and update Illinois in general to believe what you say about better infrastructure and the overall quality of life being better. Of course, your standards and mine as to the quality of life are, I suspect, quite different. I like it here and am, as I would put on the back of my car if they made such a bumper sticker, “Illini by Birth…Hoosier by the Grace of God.”

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