As the Biden campaign continues to push abortion as a primary focus ahead of the November elections, the Biden administration made yet another move to ensure that abortion remains front and center by inserting the issue into the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act—earning a strong rebuke and lawsuit from a group of 17 Republican state attorneys general.

In mid-April, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made the controversial announcement that it was adding abortion into its draft rules for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, allowing employees to “ask for time off to obtain an abortion and recover from the procedure.”

But critics say the legislation was never intended to address abortion and was merely meant to give pregnant women commonsense accommodations in the workplace, including time off for medical appointments; options to sit down and stand up while working; exemptions from heavy lifting; time off for postpartum recovery; bathroom, breastfeeding, food, and water breaks; considerations for morning sickness, and more.

In response, a coalition of 17 state attorneys general filed a lawsuit last week against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that the agency’s abortion rule is unconstitutional, among other concerns.

“[U]nelected commissioners at the EEOC seek to hijack these new protections for pregnancies by requiring employers to accommodate elective abortions—something the [Pregnant Workers Fairness] Act clearly did not authorize,” the AG coalition said in a written statement. “The EEOC’s rule constitutes an unconstitutional federal overreach that infringes on existing state laws and exceeds the scope of the agency’s authority.”

Attorneys general who signed onto the lawsuit represent the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, a Republican, last week joined “Washington Watch” to discuss why he joined the lawsuit against the EEOC’s actions.

The original text “is a wonderful, bipartisan supported [bill]—and we don’t say that very often with things that come out of Washington—to make sure that we accommodate pregnant women in the workplace because we want to have healthy pregnancies and children that come to birth,” Marshall noted, adding:

Let’s make sure that we fill a gap in federal law to ensure that pregnant women have those accommodations. … And now, the EEOC that was tasked by Congress to come out with some very specific aspects of what that looks like, now want to make sure that states like Alabama would have to violate state law to somehow or another accommodate a woman who wants an abortion. Alabama is not going to stand for that, along with the [16] other states that are a part of this coalition.

Marshall went on to point out that pro-abortion Democrats explicitly stated that the bill had nothing to do with abortion when it was passed, which hasn’t stopped the Biden administration.

“One of the Democratic sponsors of this bill made it very clear on the floor of the Senate that this bill had nothing to do with abortion [and] assured his colleagues on both sides of the aisle the intention of this bill,” he said. “And yet, despite its clear language, what we see is [the] Biden administration co-opting a valid, appropriate law to be able to enforce this pro-abortion agenda. I know we shouldn’t be surprised, but it’s one of the reasons why I’m so proud of my colleagues across the country on many pro-life issues, because we’re standing in that gap that we need in this country, to make sure that we can push back on an administration that’s just simply gone too far.”

Marshall made it clear that state attorneys general have a particularly important role to play in pushing back against the Biden administration’s tendency to try unconstitutional tactics to get its policies into place.

“This is an unelected, unaccountable group,” Marshall said, adding that “we’ve seen this on multiple fronts with this administration, [including] attacking pro-life states like Alabama. We’ve seen it with this radical gender ideology that’s being pushed through multiple federal programs. It’s why, uniquely, attorneys general in this important time in our nation have the opportunity to be able to hold [the Biden administration] in check.”

Alabama’s attorney general also pointed to how state law will have strong legal footing against the measure in court.

“[W]hat we see also with this particular rule is an effort to impose a federal policy of this administration on a state like Alabama, whose law is abundantly clear that we are a pro-life state in our Constitution,” Marshall said, adding:

To somehow or another use an unaccountable body like the EEOC to circumvent valid state law and constitutional provisions, we think we’re on solid legal footing to be able to push back and to win. … The key right now is attempting to get that initial injunctive relief, to be able to hold this rule in abeyance before its full implementation. But we feel very confident about the work of our colleagues, [are] grateful for the efforts of Tennessee and Oklahoma to lead this charge, [and] do feel strongly that we’re going to prevail.

Originally published by The Washington Stand