2/24/21: The Equality Act is being billed as an effort to legally end discrimination against individuals based on sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. But in reality, the Equality Act actually ensures that both preborn human beings and those who refuse to take part in their deaths through abortion will face overwhelming discrimination. It does not allow religious freedom to be used as an objection to participating in abortion, which is the deliberate killing of children in the womb.
Changes the definition of “sex”
The Equality Act adds a new protected category to four titles of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 including Title II (public accommodations including health care), Title III (desegregation of public facilities), Title IV (desegregation of public education), and Title VI (nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs). The Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, but the Equality Act will amend the Civil Rights Act by adding “sex” to that list. However, the Equality Act also states that the definition of “sex” includes “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.”
This change will ensure that “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions.” At face value, this appears to be a good law. However, as pointed out by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, The Civil Rights Act already prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on sex, and the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act includes a section that bans discrimination based on “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” in the workplace.
The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and a federal appellate court have stated that the pregnancy “related medical conditions” in the Pregnancy Discrimination Act include abortion. This means that the Equality Act sponsors the view that abortion is a favorable treatment for all pregnancies and the goal is to ensure that no one is denied abortion as a medical treatment for pregnancy. Abortion is not health care and is never actually medically necessary. It is always and only a violent attack on preborn human beings with the sole goal of killing them.
Overrides protections related to religious freedom
While the Pregnancy Discrimination Act includes a subsection that states that an employer should not be required “to pay for health insurance benefits for abortion, except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term, or except where medical complications have arisen from abortion,” the Equality Act holds no such subsection. Rather, the Equality Act considers even abortions on healthy mothers and healthy babies to be “favorable” treatment for pregnancy. There is no protection whatsoever for employers, meaning they would be forced to pay for abortions through health insurance programs against their will.
Moreover, the Equality Act also states that the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 […] shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement of a covered title.” This means that even employers such as the Little Sisters of the Poor — a group of Catholic nuns who have a moral objection to funding abortion and birth control — could be forced to pay for abortion coverage.
Taxpayers in every state will be forced to fund abortion through various programs
For years, the federal funding of abortion has been prohibited. However, under the Equality Act, in addition to forcing employers to cover abortion, states will be forced to fund abortions through Medicaid or Medicare programs. Medical staff who do not participate in elective abortions and health insurance plans that do not cover abortion will be forced to do so if they receive any reimbursement under Medicaid or Medicare.
“The Equality Act requires all federal and state health programs along with every hospital, clinic, school, or healthcare organization that receives federal funds to stop what it calls ‘pregnancy discrimination’ and provided access to all ‘treatments’ for the ‘condition’ of pregnancy,” said Live Action founder and president Lila Rose in a statement. “Going beyond destroying the longstanding and bipartisan Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funds from being used to pay for abortion, the Equality Act also eliminates all religious protections. This means no doctor that serves Medicaid patients will be allowed to disagree, no hospital that accepts Medicare will be allowed to refuse, and no citizen will be able to stop her hard-earned money from paying for the deaths of the youngest and most vulnerable people in our society. This legislation is a club to punish dissent.”
In considering pregnancy as a “medical condition” to be treated rather than as a mother and child who both need equal medical care, the preborn child is viewed as the equivalent of an ‘illness’ that needs curing. Refusal to commit abortions may be labeled as pregnancy discrimination.
The groups behind the Equality Act
In 2019, pro-abortion groups banded together to create their Blueprint for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice to push for widespread abortion access. Those groups include Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Abortion Federation, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union. They argue that “[e]very individual must have unimpeded access to abortion care” and state that “Federal lawmakers must enact policies that guarantee abortion access across the country.” (emphasis added) Among their demands is that Congress pass the Equality Act “swiftly.”
If the bill passes, President Joe Biden has vowed to sign it within his first 100 days in office.
For a more detailed analysis visit The Charlotte Lozier Institute.
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