Judge halts pro-abortion employer mandate in Mississippi and Louisiana

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A Louisiana federal court has ruled in favor of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), stopping an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) pro-abortion mandate from taking place in Mississippi and Louisiana.

The USCCB praised the ruling. “We have said from the start that abortion has no place in the pro-life, pro-woman Pregnant Workers Fairness Act,” spokeswoman Chieko Noguchi said in a statement, adding, “We’re grateful the court has agreed and look forward to full and permanent respect for our rights and this law’s noble purpose.”

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) became law in June of 2023, with the goal of ending pregnancy discrimination by filling in the legal gap between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Pro-life groups, including the USCCB, initially supported the act. After its passage, however, the Biden administration’s EEOC declared that abortion must be included in the “pregnancy-related medical conditions” that the PWFA ensures are covered.

READ: Michigan will no longer report abortion statistics, as part of its extreme Reproductive Health Act

The USCCB, along with other groups, such as the Catholic University of America, sued to block this pro-abortion decision, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. U.S. District Judge David C. Joseph ruled that the PWFA was not originally meant to include abortion. “If Congress had intended to mandate that employers accommodate elective abortions under the PWFA, it would have spoken clearly when enacting the statute, particularly given the enormous social, religious, and political importance of the abortion issue in our nation at this time,” he said. He added that the government “failed to include a broad religious exception” in the EEOC’s abortion mandate, and that the USCCB “demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on their claims of statutory and constitutional overreach.”

Interestingly, another judge ruled against a similar lawsuit from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) representing a coalition of 17 attorneys general (AGs), saying that “pregnancy-related medical conditions” was a broad enough term to be assumed to include abortion.

“The EEOC twisted a law protecting expecting mothers and their babies and co-opted the workplaces of over 130 million Americans to support abortion,” Laura Wolk Slavis, counsel at Becket, said in a statement. “That is an abuse of power — no one should have to choose between their conscience and protecting pregnant women.”

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30 seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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