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A judge has thrown out a lawsuit that contested federal regulations allowing accommodations for abortions among workers

An exam room is seen inside Planned Parenthood (Via Silvia Smith/ Shuttersmith)

A federal judge in Arkansas has ruled that a lawsuit by 17 states against new federal rules granting workers time off and other accommodations for abortions lacks legal standing. The Republican attorneys general from these states, including Arkansas and Tennessee, sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after it issued rules for implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2022. This law mandates that many employers must make reasonable accommodations for pregnant or postpartum employees.

The rules specify that beyond typical pregnancy accommodations like time off for prenatal visits, more bathroom breaks, or the ability to have snacks, workers can also request time off for abortion and recovery afterward.

The lawsuit argued that these regulations exceeded the scope of the 2022 law, which had bipartisan support.

Passersby watch as crew start the demolition (Via Nathan West/Shutterstock)

However, Judge D.P. Marshall, Jr., of the Eastern District of Arkansas, appointed by former President Barack Obama, denied the states’ request for a nationwide preliminary injunction against the rules, which are set to take effect soon.

In his ruling, the judge stated, “The States’ fear of overreach by one branch of the federal government cannot be cured with overreach by another.”

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin expressed disappointment with the court’s decision and indicated that they are considering their legal options, confident of eventual success.

The other states involved in the lawsuit are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia.

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