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Title IX changes may force professors to be ‘complicit’ in abortion: lawsuit

Elective abortions are ‘violence,’ not ‘health care,’ UT Austin professor says

Two University of Texas at Austin professors are challenging the Biden administration’s changes to Title IX, alleging the new interpretation could force them to give excuses of absence to students for elective abortions.

Finance Professor John Hatfield and philosophy Professor Daniel Bonevac recently joined a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that challenges the Department of Education’s new rule, according to a news release from America First Legal, which is representing them.

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education institutions that receive federal funding. However, America First Legal states the Biden administration recently reinterpreted the law to prohibit “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Among other things, Hatfield and Bonevac allege the new interpretation could force them to allow students to take leaves of absence for elective abortions, which are illegal in Texas.

In a legal declaration, Bonevac stated one of the problems is the new rule prohibits discrimination based on a student’s “pregnancy or related conditions,” including elective abortions.

While Bonevac stated he will allow students to be absent for an abortion if it is medically necessary, he cannot “accommodate an act of violence against the most vulnerable and defenseless members of the human family.”

“I will not accommodate a purely elective abortion that serves only to kill an unborn child that was conceived through an act of voluntary and consensual sexual intercourse,” he said in the declaration. “Pregnancy is not a disease, and elective abortions are not ‘health care’ or ‘medical treatment’ of any sort.”

Hatfield and Bonevac also “refuse to be compelled to use grammatically incorrect or made-up pronouns” or allow teaching assistants to cross dress in their classrooms, according to the news release.

Additionally, the professors allege the changes could affect the factors they consider when determining whether to hire a teaching assistant. For example, it could be considered discriminatory if the professors refuse to hire someone because the candidate violated the law by shipping or receiving abortion pills and abortion-related paraphernalia, the release states.

Stephen Miller, president of America First Legal, stated in the news release the parties in the lawsuit are asking a federal judge for a preliminary injunction that immediately blocks the Biden administration from implementing the changes.

Along with the professors, Miller said the changes also are an “attack on girls and women.”

“Biden’s new Title IX rule would force girls in every public school in America to share restrooms, locker rooms, and private facilities with men,” Miller stated. “It would force onto millions of children the destructive and abusive ideology which holds drugs and mutilative surgery can reverse a child’s gender and make boys into girls and girls into boys.”

The Independent Women’s Forum’s law center expressed similar concerns when it announced plans to sue the Biden administration late last month, The College Fix reported.

In a news release, center Director May Mailman said the changes will “permit the invasion of women’s spaces,” including in athletics programs.

The new rule has many conservative organizations concerned. Among the many problems, they argue, is the Department of Education does not have the authority to rewrite the 1975 law.

MORE: ‘Deeply regressive’: Riley Gaines slams Biden’s Title IX rules at pro-women sports rally

IMAGE: Ulf Wittrock/Shutterstock

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About the Author
Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.