For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 22, 2022
Washington, DC — Today, the U.S. Senate adopted an amendment to the omnibus spending package that would include the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), legislation that will advance reproductive freedom by promoting economic security and workplace fairness for pregnant working people. The amendment was adopted 73-24 with bipartisan support. Should the Senate pass the omnibus spending bill, PWFA will go to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote.
In response, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement:
“Protections against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace are an essential part of reproductive freedom, and today’s vote to advance the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in the Senate means that pregnant people in America may soon no longer have to choose between a paycheck and a healthy pregnancy. For years, advocates and champions have fought hard to advance this critical legislation, despite attempts from anti-choice lawmakers to attack reproductive freedom and deny pregnant people and families their fundamental rights. We applaud Senate leaders for delivering this enormous victory and anticipate the House’s quick action to ensure these protections for pregnant workers become law.”
The Senate also voted down two amendments introduced by Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Mike Braun (R-IN) that would have gutted PWFA’s protections and emboldened employers to refuse accommodations to pregnant workers.
For years, NARAL Pro-Choice America, its members, and our coalition partners have fought tirelessly for the passage of PWFA, including placing calls to build support for the bill and joining with over 200 organizations in calling for Congress to pass the bill.
PWFA’s protections are even more critical in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—ending the constitutional right to abortion and opening the door for extremist state lawmakers to put total bans on abortion in place. This decision is having a devastating impact throughout the country as 17 states are enforcing bans on abortion. The people hurt most by these bans and restrictions are those who already face barriers to accessing abortion care—including women; Black, Latina/x, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous people; those working to make ends meet; the LGBTQ+ community; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; people with disabilities, and other historically oppressed communities.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.