The U.S Bishops Swing and Miss Again

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Restricts Religious Freedom and Advances Abortion

Unless you are a Human Resources specialist or attorney in labor relations, you have probably never heard of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). On the surface, the protection of pregnant workers is something all can rally around. But with all legislation, the bill’s title rarely reflects the bill’s intent. Such is the case of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The bill requires all employers with 15 or more employees “Provide reasonable accommodations to a qualified employee’s or applicant’s known limitation related to, affected by, or arising out of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause an undue hardship on the operation of the business of the covered entity.”

The somewhat ambiguous language of the law is done with all the skill of a contract lawyer’s prose.  “Arising out of pregnancy… or related medical conditions” infer the law is intended to serve pregnant workers or new mothers and includes the present vernacular of “medical conditions” used as a synonym for abortion and contraception, aka Reproductive Health Care.

However, the bill does not mandate an employer to pay for a physical abortion but will allow abortifacients or abortion drugs under the medical conditions clause. If the regulation is implemented, religious employers would, by law, become potential material cooperators in abortion through the physical removal of the fetus or by using mifepristone and misoprostol drugs, generally known as RU-486.  The proposed regulation would also trample on an employer’s religious freedom by prohibiting an employer from firing an employee at odds with a religious organization’s convictions. For example, there can no longer be a moral clause related to abortion or contraception in a Catholic school teacher’s contract. Under this law, if the teacher is dismissed for openly denying Catholic teaching on these issues by having an abortion and making known her action through social media or other means, she could sue the school or diocese under the PWFA and presumably win her case.  

With such clear intentions of PWFA to support abortion and contraception, it is surprising that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has supported the regulation.  The USCCB sent letters to Senators and Representatives stating in the first paragraph, “We write in support of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, S. 1486, which will make the workplace a safer environment for nursing mothers, pregnant women, and their unborn children.”  Nowhere in their letter to lawmakers did the bishops ever consider the question of abortion, abortifacients, or contraceptives, all of which are immoral practices under Catholic moral teaching. The bishops quoted St. John Paul II about women’s rights in the workplace. Still, they failed to mention that he adamantly fought against the culture of death brought on by abortion, abortifacients, and contraception.  

Some ProLife organizations voiced their concern about PWFA and its potential for advancing the abortion agenda. On July 14, 2023, the USCCB wrote a memo addressing those concerns to justify their original support of the bill. The bishop’s response is worth quoting. “Because it ends pregnancy and prevents childbirth, abortion is the conceptual opposite of pregnancy and childbirth and hence not a “related medical condition.” (Strictly speaking, abortion is not a “condition” at all, it is a procedure that ends the life of a preborn child.) PWFA says nothing about abortion, and that is because it has nothing to do with abortion.

Either the bishops didn’t read the regulation clearly or are trying to play a semantic game; it is at odds with the government’s claim. Under section 1636.3 (b), entitled Pregnancy, Childbirth, or Related Medical Conditions, it states: “  The list in the proposed regulation for the definition of “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” includes current pregnancy, past pregnancy, potential pregnancy, lactation (including breastfeeding and pumping), use of birth control, menstruation, infertility and fertility treatments, endometriosis, miscarriage, stillbirth, or having or choosing not to have an abortion, among other conditions.”

The proposed regulation includes abortion and contraception, contrary to what the bishops claim in their July statement. Additionally, the bill mentions infertility and fertility treatments. One can also assume IVF (in vitro fertilization) is also considered an option for fertility treatment, a procedure at odds with  Catholic Moral Teaching. 

You would have to be under a rock not to think the Biden administration and the left, after the dismantling of Roe v.  Wade by the Supreme Court, would do everything in their power to advance the culture of death wherever and whenever it can.  The lack of moral leadership of the USCCB can only be outdone by the fact that Planned Parenthood is in solidarity with the USCCB in supporting the upcoming legislation.  Planned Parenthood derives most of its funds from procuring abortions; then, it is pretty sure that the new law they support will increase the barbaric practice in one way or another. 

You still can have a say in the matter. Until October 10, 2023, citizens can comment on the proposed regulation. I urge you to voice your comments demanding that the bill continue to honor religious freedom and inhibit the ongoing scourge of abortion. You can make your comments by going directly to the government site here.

Help Spread the Truth

One thought on “The U.S Bishops Swing and Miss Again

Leave a Reply