Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Aug 9, 2023 / 08:00 am
Catholic bishops are criticizing the Biden administration’s proposed rules related to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act that would force employers to make accommodations for women who receive abortions.
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which passed Congress with bipartisan support in 2022, established new protections for workers who are pregnant or recently had a child. It requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for women based on known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or other related medical conditions as long as such accommodations do not create an undue hardship on the operations of the business.
Although the law makes no mention of accommodating women who abort their children, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Monday issued proposed regulations that defined abortion as one of the “related medical conditions.” Under the draft regulations, employers would need to accommodate women for limitations that arise from “having or choosing not to have an abortion.”
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) initially supported the bill for its new protections for pregnant women. Now, USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities chairman Bishop Michael Burbidge is accusing the EEOC of distorting the law.