Biden Administration Criticized for Adding Abortion to Workers Fairness Act

The Biden administration has faced backlash for including accommodations for abortions in the regulations for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The law, passed in 2022, was meant to provide protections for pregnant workers and related medical conditions, but did not specifically mention abortions. However, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a final rule adding abortion to the law’s workforce protections, leading to accusations that the administration was pushing a pro-choice agenda and disregarding the legislative intent of the law.

Representative Virginia Foxx, chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, criticized the administration for adding abortion to the law, stating that the term “abortion” is not mentioned in the law and that the administration was using the regulatory process to promote radical policy goals. She also expressed concerns about the administration’s tendency to abuse the Constitution.

The final rule allows workers to request time off and other accommodations for abortions and pregnancies. This decision has sparked criticism from Republican lawmakers, including Senator Bill Cassidy, who accused the administration of deviating from the original bipartisan intent of the legislation, which did not include provisions for abortion.

The updated rule also offers examples of reasonable accommodations for workers, such as time off for bathroom breaks, doctor appointments, and recovery from childbirth or miscarriage. The EEOC emphasized the importance of employers meeting their responsibilities and facilitating communication with employees to resolve issues in a timely manner.

Some organizations have supported the inclusion of abortions in the law’s protections, including the Center for WorkLife Law, which praised the expansion of pregnancy and recovery time for workers ineligible under the Family and Medical Leave Act. On the other hand, the Alliance Defending Freedom expressed concerns about the impact of the updated rule on religious employers and accused the Biden administration of abusing its power to promote abortion.

The regulations are scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on April 19 and will take effect 60 days later. The inclusion of abortions in the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act has sparked debate and criticism from conservative lawmakers and advocacy groups.

Written by Staff Reports

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