GOP Lawmakers Slam EEOC Abortion Provision in Workers Fairness Act

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken a significant stride towards implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, but it has sparked discontent among some Republicans.

As reported by the Washington Examiner, the finalized rules include a provision safeguarding abortion as a "related medical condition" to pregnancy. Consequently, employers may now be required to offer leave to accommodate women undergoing abortions.

Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has vocally opposed the abortion provision, unequivocally stating her belief that categorizing abortion as a "related medical condition" to pregnancy is fundamentally erroneous. She is not alone in her dissatisfaction.

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) has expressed astonishment and revulsion at the EEOC's decision to incorporate abortion into the PWFA, a law passed without any mention of abortion. He contends that the original intent of the legislation was to aid pregnant mothers who opt or necessitate remaining in the workforce throughout their pregnancy and postpartum recovery.

Conservative lawmakers are directing their ire at the Biden administration, accusing it of clandestinely introducing an abortion mandate into a law ostensibly aimed at supporting healthy childbirth. They also voice concerns about the administration leveraging the regulatory process to advance its perceived radical policy agenda.

However, amidst the controversy, there are still positive aspects to the rule. It continues to provide protections for pregnant or recently pregnant employees, including time off for childbirth or miscarriage, as well as accommodations for healthcare appointments, restroom breaks, hydration, nutrition, and lactation.

EEOC Chairwoman Charlotte A. Burrows has expressed staunch support for the new rule, asserting that it will afford pregnant workers the necessary accommodations to perform their jobs safely and effectively, free from discrimination or reprisal. She views it as a significant victory for women who have encountered health risks or adversity due to inadequate workplace accommodations.

While the EEOC's decision has sparked conservative backlash, it also marks progress towards ensuring that pregnant workers receive the support they require in the workplace.

Written by Staff Reports

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