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US Catholic Bishops Criticize Biden Admin's Rule Mandating Employers Support Abortion

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has voiced criticism against a recent rule by the Biden administration, requiring employers to provide leave for employees seeking abortions.

Photo credit: Scott Graham

Photo credit: Scott Graham


By Catholic Online (California Network)
4/19/2024 (1 month ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: USCCB, Biden administration, abortion rights, Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, religious liberty, equal employment opportunity

The Biden administration's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently amended federal regulations concerning fairness for pregnant workers, mandating employers to offer "reasonable accommodations," including granting leave, for workers seeking abortions.

Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, Bishop Kevin Rhoades condemned the new rule, stating, "no employer should be forced to participate in an employee's decision to end the life of their child."

Rhoades, also the chairman of the USCCB's Committee for Religious Liberty, emphasized that the bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) prioritizes protecting the security and physical health of pregnant mothers and their unborn children.

He argued against the EEOC's interpretation of the law, stating, "It is indefensible for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to twist the law in a way that violates the consciences of pro-life employers by making them facilitate abortions."

Last year, the USCCB, along with the Catholic University of America, submitted comments opposing the proposed rule, asserting that the PWFA does not mandate facilitating abortions.

According to the bishops and the university, the intent of the PWFA is to provide accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions to support pregnant workers while remaining employed and healthy. They emphasized that abortion does not fall within the scope of pregnancy or childbirth, as it intentionally terminates pregnancy and prevents childbirth.

Although the USCCB previously supported the PWFA during its consideration in Congress, concerns were raised about the possibility of the bill being used to compel employers to cover abortion expenses.

The new rule applies to both public and private employers with 15 or more workers and stipulates that accommodations should not impose an "undue hardship on the operation of the business of the covered entity," as per government guidelines.

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