It’s been less than 24 hours since the Biden administration announced the deadline for companies to require their workers to be vaccinated against coronavirus or present weekly negative tests, but lawsuits have already been filed against the measure, with more likely to follow.
These lawsuits claim to be defending bodily autonomy — but they’re being filed by the same Republican-controlled states where this defense has been ignored in the fight for abortion rights.
The Occupational Safety and Healthcare Administration (OSHA) will enforce the Biden rule. Employers with more than 100 employees must provide this information to their employees.To have proof of vaccination from their workers. Workers who do not want to be vaccinated must show proof of a negative COVID test every week. The new rule applies to both workers and employers.
Several states that are under Republican control have filed lawsuits against President Obama’s White House. joint suit by Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio — and at least 20 other statesThey plan to sue the Biden administration for violating the vaccine rule.
Some companies have also filed suits. Plasticraft Corp. and Tankcraft Corp., both based in southeastern Wisconsin. has filed a challenge to the rule directly to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, alleging that it violates the company’s and their workers’ autonomies.
“OSHA does not know how to run our companies. We do,” the company’s secretary and treasurer, Steve Fettig, said in a statement.
“We respect our employees’ fundamental right to make their own private, difficult medical choices,” Fettig said.
These arguments are absurd, especially when they are compared with the current debate over abortion rights in America. Despite Fettig’s supposed commitment to the “fundamental right” to make “private, difficult medical choices,” Fettig is chair of the board of directors of the MacIver InstituteWisconsin has a right-wing group that has advocated for anti-abortion legislation in the state.
Texas a state that is also challenging the Biden administrationAbortion access has been severely restricted by the OSHA vaccine rule. After six weeks of gestation, a restrictive law prohibits the procedure — so early on in the pregnancy that many people don’t even realize they’re pregnant.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Friday’s lawsuit against the Biden administration. claimed that the “new vaccine mandate on private businesses is a breathtaking abuse of federal power.”
Of course, when it comes to the Texas abortion ban, Paxton has no qualms about the government intruding in people’s lives. Although the constitutional right to abortion has been upheld by the courts for many years, Paxton dismissed that idea in filings to the Supreme Court last month.
“The idea that the Constitution requires States to permit a woman to abort her unborn child is unsupported by any constitutional text, history or tradition,” Paxton claimedThis disregards five decades worth of precedent and case law.
Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed the Texas abortion bill into law earlier in the year. Greg Abbott (R); last Month, the governor signed an executive decree prohibiting any public or private sector entity to comply with a vaccine mandate. Federal rules and laws are applicable. This order shall be superseded, many have criticized Abbott for his inconsistency — especially because abortion affects only the individual who is undergoing the procedure, whereas actions related to the pandemic, like choosing to get vaccinated or wear a mask, can have an enormous impact on the health and wellbeing of others.
“They say it infringes upon their freedom if the government mandates that they wear their masks or if the government mandates they get a vaccine,” noted state Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas). “I don’t know what country they come from because the one that I grew up in, I couldn’t go to school until I got what I call my shots. I was a little girl and we had to get vaccines to go to school. So it’s always been that way.”
“We got hypocrites [in Texas],” Crockett continued.
Cindy Banyai from Florida, a candidate for Congress in the 2022 midterm election, shared a similar sentiment on Twitter Thursday afternoon.
“If you think a vaccine mandate from OSHA is unconstitutional, you should see what states are trying to do with abortion and voting,” she said.
In a number of interviews on Thursday, Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh defended the Biden administration’s new vaccine rule, calling it “unfortunate” that so many states were planning lawsuitsWithin hours of the deadline being announced,
OSHA has “a 50-year history of making these rules work,” Walsh said on PBS’s “NewsHour”, adding that both employers and the Biden administration are in “uncharted territory” when it comes to dealing with the pandemic.
Walsh also stated that the new rule is not a mandate, as it still allows workers to do what is best for their bodies.
“It was a well-written rule and put together. A lot of thought went into it,” Walsh said, adding that the administration is “confident” that the rule will stand up to judicial scrutiny.