“We supported the bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act because it enhanced the protection of pregnant mothers and their preborn children, which is something that we have encouraged Congress to prioritize,” Burbidge said in a statement. “The act is pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-life. It is a total distortion to use this law as a means for advancing abortion and the complete opposite of needed assistance for pregnant mothers.”
Burbidge argued that the proposed rules are contrary to the legislative intent.
“To include accommodations for obtaining an abortion is wrong and contrary to the text, legislative history, and purpose of the act, which is to help make it possible for working mothers to remain gainfully employed, if desired, while protecting their health and that of their preborn children,” Burbidge continued. “We are hopeful that the EEOC will be forced to abandon its untenable position when public comments submitted on this regulation demonstrate that its interpretation would be struck down in court.”
The EEOC defended its inclusion of abortion as a related medical condition based on previous judicial interpretations of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which the agency argued included abortion as a medical condition related to pregnancy.
Some Republican supporters of the legislation have also accused the EEOC of disregarding the legislative intent and the text of the law. Sen. Bill Cassidy, who was the lead Republican co-sponsor of the legislation, issued a statement that argued the bill received bipartisan support because it excluded abortion.
“The Biden administration has gone rogue. These regulations completely disregard legislative intent and attempt to rewrite the law by regulation,” Cassidy said. “The Biden administration has to enforce the law as passed by Congress, not how they wish it was passed. 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.”