The Biden administration is being accused of covertly making all US businesses cover the costs of workers’ abortions. Christian legal advocates say that would violate the deeply held religious beliefs of many employers.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was passed as part of an omnibus bill last year as a bipartisan law with the intent of helping pregnant employees. The regulations are just being finalised now and it’s been revealed that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has “sneakily” included abortions in the regulations.
The law, as approved by Congress, authorised the EEOC to issue regulations that “provide examples of reasonable accommodations addressing known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” within a year of its enactment. The legislation took effect on June 27. The Christian Post reports the EEOC has compiled the regulations, which are scheduled for publication on Friday (August 11). The public will then have 60 days to comment on them.
The unpublished version of the proposed regulations states that “the list for the definition of ‘pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions’ includes “having or choosing not to have an abortion.” According to the section on definitions: “‘Related medical conditions’ are medical conditions which relate to, are affected by, or arise out of pregnancy or childbirth, as applied to the specific employee or applicant in question, including, but not limited to, termination of pregnancy, including via miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion.”
Lawyers from religious liberty legal nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) accused the EEOC of exceeding its authority and “hijacking the law.” Politico reports the Commission has attempted to head off concerns that it is placing a mandate on employers by stating in its proposal that nothing in the law “requires or forbids an employer to pay for health insurance benefits for an abortion.”
ADF Senior Counsel Julie Marie Blake stressed that: “Congress sought to help pregnant workers, not force employers to facilitate abortions. The Biden administration is attacking a bipartisan law that doesn’t even mention abortion, to forcibly require every employer in America to provide ‘reasonable accommodations’ for their workers’ elective abortions. The administration’s unlawful proposal violates state laws protecting the unborn and employers’ pro-life and religious beliefs. The administration doesn’t have the legal authority to smuggle an abortion mandate into a transformational pro-life, pro-woman law.”
Senator Bill Cassidy, the top Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Republican, accused the EEOC of “going rogue,” adding that: “These regulations completely disregard legislative intent and attempt to rewrite the law by regulation. The decision to disregard the legislative process to inject a political abortion agenda is illegal and deeply concerning.”