November 3, 2020

House Passes Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Pro-Lifers Concerned it will Force Employers to Pay for Abortions.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act by a vote of 329-73 on September 17, 2020. The bill was then sent to the Senate, where it has not yet received a vote. Pro-life activists are concerned that the legislation, if passed, would create an opening for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to require employers to cover abortion in employer-sponsored health plans.

According to House Resolution 1107, the legislation was created "to eliminate discrimination and promote women’s health and economic security by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition."

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act passed from the House without a long-standing Civil Rights Act provision to exempt religious organizations from making employment decisions that conflict with their faith. An amendment to add this provision was voted down.

The bill is now being considered by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in the Senate.