Biden administration says Title IX protects abortion
The Department of Education issued a fact sheet on Title IX that protects abortion as a protected clause.
Vice President Kamala Harris reiterated the interpretation during a Tuesday speech.
The Biden administration attempted to leverage Title IX to concrete its pro-abortion agenda on Tuesday.
While Title IX prohibits federally funded schools from discriminating against pregnant students, the Department of Education (DOEd) issued an October directive that included abortion as a “related condition.”
The fact sheet stipulates that schools cannot discriminate against students based on “pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery.”
“[N]othing in Title IX requires or prohibits any person or entity from providing or paying for any benefit or service related to an abortion, and nothing in Title IX permits a penalty to be imposed on any person because the person is seeking or has received any benefit or service related to a legal abortion,” the fact sheet reads.
Pregnant students retain specific rights that universities must abide by under Title IX guidance and must be allowed to participate fully in classes and extracurricular activities. Pregnant students are also permitted to make up class work missed due to childbirth.
The Department specifies that “termination of pregnancy” must be treated as “any other temporary disability,” and students must be given the same benefits- including academic leave.
“If a school does not have a leave policy for students, or the student does not otherwise qualify for leave under the policy, a school must provide leave to a student for pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery therefrom, for as long as the student’s physician deems medically necessary,” the fact sheet explains.
The DOEd told Campus Reform that the proposed regulation continues the policy embedded in Title IX since 1975.
“The Department interprets the term “termination of pregnancy,” to be broader than abortion, including, for example miscarriage,” a department spokesperson said. “The proposed regulations clarify protections to ensure that students are not excluded from education on these bases. The proposed regulations cover reasonable modifications for students, reasonable break time for employees, and availability of lactation space.”
Religious schools are exempt from abiding by the directive if “Title IX’s nondiscrimination requirement would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization.”
Vice President Kamala Harris reiterated the Department’s interpretation of Title IX during the second meeting of the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access.
“In August, when [the task force] convened, there was a lot of work to address and determine what we could do as an administration. Since then, I’m proud to report a lot of work has taken place,” Harris said.
“An example of the work that is happening includes the Department of Education, which is making clear that it is against the law under Title IX to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy,” she continued.
The task force met on the eve of 100 days since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States. The decision returned the right of legislating abortion to each state.
14 states have since implemented a full abortion ban, while Georgia instituted a six-week ban.
Campus Reform contacted the White House for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
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