Arkansas co-leads 17-state coalition suing federal pregnancy, abortion accommodation rule

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas is joining with 16 other states in protesting a ruling on how employers should accommodate pregnant workers or workers considering abortion.

Attorney General Tim Griffin said he is co-leading the coalition with Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti. The 17-state group will sue the Equal Opportunity Commission over its April 15 final ruling on accommodations for pregnant workers under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2022.

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The ruling is for “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” Under “medical conditions” it includes “having or choosing not to have an abortion.” Griffin said the coalition maintains this is an erroneous interpretation of the rule.

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“This is yet another attempt by the Biden administration to force through administrative fiat what it cannot get passed through Congress,” Griffin said in a statement. “Under this radical interpretation of the PWFA, business owners will face federal lawsuits if they don’t accommodate employees’ abortions, even if those abortions are illegal under state law. The PWFA was meant to protect pregnancies, not end them.”

Griffin added that the rule was passed 3-2 by “unelected EEOC commissioners, [and] goes beyond what Congress authorized under the PWFA.”

In addition to Arkansas and Tennessee, other states joining the lawsuit are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.

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Court records show the suit was filed Thursday in the Eastern District of Arkansas federal court in Little Rock.

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