TN AG Leads Coalition in Opposing EEOC’s Proposed Rule on Abortion Accommodations

Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | 08:05am

Nashville - Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, joined by 19 States, submitted a comment letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) opposing EEOC’s new rule to require workplace abortion accommodations. 

EEOC’s rule relates to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which a bipartisan coalition of Congress passed to protect the rights of pregnant workers and their babies.  PWFA directs employers to provide workplace accommodations for “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” Yet EEOC’s rule would interpret this pro-pregnancy provision to force covered employers, including the State of Tennessee, to allocate resources to support workers’ decisions to terminate pregnancies.

“Time and again, the courts have reminded the federal government that major policy questions should be decided by the people’s elected representatives and not by bureaucrats,” said Attorney General Skrmetti.  “The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is an important piece of legislation that ensures women are not forced to choose between work and motherhood, but that law absolutely does not authorize the EEOC to impose pro-abortion mandates.  If the EEOC continues on this path, we will sue to stop the agency from illegally coercing employers to facilitate abortions in violation of state law.”

Tennessee’s letter highlights a number of legal flaws with EEOC’s proposed abortion rule.   Among other flaws, Congress has never mandated employers to implement pro-abortion policies, and the PWFA’s protections for pregnancy plainly were not intended to promote such an agenda. Further, EEOC’s rule contradicts States’ duly enacted abortion prohibitions and undermines their commitment to protecting prenatal life at all stages of development.

The coalition urges the EEOC to abandon the pursuit of this abortion-accommodation rule, emphasizing that the States are prepared to take legal action if necessary. Tennessee and the co-signing States firmly believe that the EEOC should respect the democratic process and the citizens’ rejection of pro-abortion policies.

Joining Tennessee in the letter, are attorneys general from the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.

To read the letter in its entirety, click here


PR23-44:  TN AG Leads Coalition in Opposing EEOC’s Proposed Rule on Abortion Accommodations