EPPC Scholars Meet with Federal Officials to Discuss Abortion Concerns in the Anticipated Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Regulations

Published July 10, 2023


On Friday, July 7, 2023, EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project scholars Eric Kniffin and Natalie Dodson met with federal government officials to discuss abortion concerns in the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Regulations by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The scholars told government officials:

If Congress had passed the PWFA before June 2022, EEOC would at least have been able to argue that Congress’ failure to mention abortion simply reflected its presumption that women had a constitutional right to an abortion. But the PWFA passed after the Supreme Court decided Dobbs. If Congress had wanted to force employers to accommodate abortion or had wanted to express an interest in abortion access more broadly, the PWFA would have been an obvious occasion for Congress to do so. The PWFA would have been a perfect occasion for Congress to declare its interest in ensuring that women cannot be discriminated against because they choose to terminate the life of their unborn child. However, Congress did not choose to declare such an interest. The Supreme Court’s recent emphasis on the major questions doctrine emphasizes the legal significance of Congress decision, months after this Administration declared its intention to protect as broadly as possible women’s ability to terminate their unborn children, not to specifically protect abortion in this law.

A written version of their comments, submitted to the government, is available here (PDF). 

Eric Kniffin is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he works on a range of initiatives to protect and strengthen religious liberty as part of EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project.

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