Sen. Bill Cassidy: ‘Rogue’ Biden Administration Using Pregnancy Law to Promote Abortion

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) speaks as Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) listens during a news c
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Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) issued a statement this week rebuking the Biden administration for transforming a bipartisan effort to support pregnant women in the workplace into a rule that would make employers facilitate their employees’ abortions.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Monday that it issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, outlining changes to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), a law that allows access to reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant workers or those affected with medical conditions related to childbirth. The EEOC’s unpublished proposed regulations include abortion as a “related medical condition,” despite the fact that the PWFA originally passed with the intent that abortion would not be included. 

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) asks a question during a Senate Hearings Committee to examine community health centers, Thursday, March 2, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

“The Biden administration has gone rogue. These regulations completely disregard legislative intent and attempt to rewrite the law by regulation,” said Cassidy, who is the lead Republican cosponsor of the PWFA.

“The Biden administration has to enforce the law as passed by Congress, not how they wish it was passed,” he continued. “The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is aimed at assisting pregnant mothers who remain in the workforce by choice or necessity as they bring their child to term and recover after childbirth. The decision to disregard the legislative process to inject a political abortion agenda is illegal and deeply concerning.”

PWFA was passed into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (pg. 1,626) and requires employers with 15 or more workers to accommodate the “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition” of a “qualified employee.” 

President Joe Biden speaks about his economic plan “Bidenomics” in Auburn, Maine, on July 28, 2023. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

The law, which went into effect on June 27, authorized the EEOC to create regulations that “provide examples of reasonable accommodations addressing known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” a year after the law’s enactment. The EEOC scheduled its proposed regulations for publication in the Federal Register on Friday where the public will have 60 days to comment.

“The list in the regulation for the definition of ‘pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions’ includes current pregnancy, past pregnancy, potential pregnancy, lactation (including breastfeeding and pumping), use of birth control, menstruation, infertility and fertility treatments, endometriosis, miscarriage, stillbirth, or having or choosing not to have an abortion, among other conditions,” the proposal reads.

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The EEOC noted that the list is “non-exhaustive” and that “an employee or applicant does not have to specify a condition on this list or use medical terms to describe a condition in order to be eligible for a reasonable accommodation.” The unpublished regulations do request that the public comment on how the change would impact the religious liberty of employers.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Julie Marie Blake slammed the proposed rule in a statement and said it “hijacks” the bipartisan law and infringes on the religious liberty of pro-life employers. 

“Congress sought to help pregnant workers, not force employers to facilitate abortions. The Biden administration is hijacking 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,” Blake said.

“The administration’s unlawful proposal violates state laws protecting the unborn and employers’ pro-life and religious beliefs,” she continued. “The administration doesn’t have the legal authority to smuggle an abortion mandate into a transformational pro-life, pro-woman law. Alliance Defending Freedom stands ready to continue defending unborn lives and to oppose this egregious federal overreach.”

The EEOC’s announcement notably made no mention of its inclusion of abortion in the proposed regulations. 

“The EEOC’s bipartisan proposed regulation helps to bring the promise of this transformative law to life, enabling pregnant and postpartum workers to retain their jobs while maintaining a healthy pregnancy and recovering from childbirth,” said EEOC Vice Chair Jocelyn Samuels. “The regulation provides concrete, real-world examples that help workers understand their rights and help employers comply with the new law and reap the benefit of retaining skilled employees.”

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter @thekat_hamilton.


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