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Sunday, May 19, 2024 - 11:03 PM

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

First Published in 1994

INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE VOICE OF
UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA

Paid Leave for Abortion?

EEOC Demands that Employers Provide Access to Abortion

Before Senators flew home for August recess, they took a vote on one of President Joe Biden’s nominees to become the commissioner at the Equal Employment Opportunity Council (EEOC). Kalpana Kotagal has actively pushed the transgender movement forward — something that quickly caught the attention of conservatives who opposed her nomination. Shortly after the Senate voted solely along party lines to confirm Kotagal, the EEOC proposed a new rule propping up the abortion industry.

Since the EEOC’s creation a year after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, the office found ways to become larger. Originally, the Commission’s goal was to ensure that government agencies were following anti-discrimination laws pertaining to race, ethnicity, or religion. The EEOC has added more categories of people over time including sex, age, and disability. In 2012 under the Obama administration, the Commission expanded its services to gender identity including transgender status. The bigger the EEOC has become, the more it has encroached on businesses.

The left’s confirmation of Kotagal makes sense after the EEOC’s latest expansion. As a civil rights lawyer, speaker, and writer, she has chosen to focus on the topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She litigated cases of pregnancy discrimination and gender pay bias. Perhaps, her most notable case was one where she worked alongside the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. Together, they forced insurance company Aetna to cover breast augmentation surgeries for biological men who identify as women.

Conservative groups sounded the alarm. It wasn’t a stretch to see that Kotagal’s position will have disastrous implications for religious groups, women, and children. Eagle Forum Executive Director Tabitha Walter told American Family News:

[Kotagal] has a very terrible history with particularly the transgender movement and the so-called equality agenda. So, we’re very concerned that while she’s in the Biden administration, she’s going to push an extreme leftist agenda.

Gender ideology and abortion always go hand-in-hand though. CatholicVote’s Director of Government Affairs Tom McClusky told the Daily Signal:

Based on her record, she will undoubtedly use her new post to attack religious exemptions, especially when it comes to employers’ conscience protections regarding abortion and so-called “gender-affirming care.”

They were right. Less than a month into her position, the EEOC published a new rule expanding parental leave to cover abortions. The rule was created to implement the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act “PWFA” (H.R. 1065), a bill passed by the House and ultimately signed into law through the lame-duck appropriations package. The PWFA was never intended to be interpreted in this sense. Although the language of the bill was problematic in many ways, the overall concept of the bill was to expand “maternity” leave to small businesses. During floor debate on the bill, the Democrat co-sponsor, Representative Bob Casey (PA-D) stated:

Under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act … the EEOC could not — could not — issue any regulation that requires abortion leave, nor does the act permit the EEOC to require employers to provide abortion leave in violation of state law.

Yet, the EEOC twisted the language.

If the rule is finalized, all businesses with fifteen employees or more must provide leave for women obtaining abortions. They provide an exemption for “organizations whose purpose and character are primarily religious” but will be considered only on a case-by-case basis. With the bias of the Biden administration, we know that religious organizations will not be weighed fairly. Despite a narrow religious exemption, small businesses will be, once again, forced to pay out of pocket for unnecessary policies and be silenced for dissenting beliefs.

As with all new rules, the EEOC provides a 60-day comment period that ends on October 10, 2023. You can submit your comments in opposition here.

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