NRL News

Catholic bishops sue the EEOC for rewriting a law protecting pregnant women at work into an abortion mandate

by | May 29, 2024

By Dave Andrusko

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio

It is the nature of the beast, so we shouldn’t be surprised that there is nothing life-affirming and helpful to women and their unborn children alike that the Abortion Industry won’t attempt to corrupt and manipulate to serve their life-denying purposes.

We’ve posted multiple stories about the Biden Administration dishonorable attempt to co-opt the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). “The PWFA was enacted to fill a significant gap in regards to accommodating pregnant women — one to ensure a woman could both continue working with modification and maintain a healthy pregnancy,” explained Jennifer Popik, J.D., Federal Legislative Director. “The legislation contained explicit abortion-related language ensuring the bill could not be used as a back door tool to require employers to pay for abortion.”

But, of course, the Biden Administration rewrote the law to turn it into an abortion mandate. “On August 11, 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a proposed rule to implement the PWFA,” Popik continued. “In an act of blatant overreach, the proposal used the PWFA to establish a nationwide requirement that employers with 15 or more employees make ‘reasonable accommodation’ to enable employees to obtain elective abortion, including providing paid or unpaid leave.”

On April 26, 2024, 17 state attorneys general sued the EEOC.

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote an excellent piece for Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal on this very topic. It’s headlined “The EEOC’s Unjust Abortion Mandate: Catholic bishops are suing over an attempt to rewrite a law protecting pregnant women at work.” It’s an excellent summary of how the EEOC is “shoehorning abortion into a life-affirming statute.”

The first paragraph beautiful illustrates why the EEOC’s action turning a “pro-woman, pro-family and pro-worker” initiative into another arrow in the Biden Administration’s pro-abortion quiver is so despicable:

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops cheered when Congress passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in 2022. The bill’s purpose was laudable and obvious: to expand protections for pregnant women in the workplace. Yet the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has subverted the law’s noble goal by turning it into an abortion-accommodation mandate. That is unjust and illegal. In federal court last week, the USCCB filed suit to challenge it.

As Archbishop Broglio added

Our commitment to promoting human dignity must include defending the unborn and supporting women in their pregnancies. That includes advocating dignified conditions in the workplace. The PWFA advances each of these principles.

The remainder of the op-ed is must reading. Note that regulation “also bans employers from encouraging employees to choose life instead of abortion. That means religious employers cannot require their employees to be faithful advocates of the sanctity of life.”

Archbishop Broglio’s conclusion explains that is at stake:

The commission is turning the plain text of the law on its head to promote abortion. If the EEOC’s rule is allowed to stand, the USCCB and Catholic ministries nationwide will be penalized for doing what they have done for centuries: teaching and serving the infinite dignity of every person. We will not compromise that twofold mission of walking with women and honoring the unborn. We look forward to the courts’ vindicating our right to do so.