In the Documents: EEOC Commissioner Andrea Lucas’ Communications with Anti-Abortion Groups

Records obtained by American Oversight and reported on by Politico show that Andrea Lucas, a Trump-appointed commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, solicited comments directly from prominent anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ groups regarding the EEOC’s enforcement plans.

According to emails, Lucas asked the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — a conservative group that has been behind many of the efforts to roll back LGBTQ and abortion rights, including having drafted the Mississippi abortion ban that led to the Dobbs decision — to comment on the EEOC’s intended law enforcement priorities.

In an August 2022 email to Kellie Fiedorek, ADF’s government affairs director, Lucas wrote, “I welcome ADF to submit input to the agency via the email address above, as well as to reach out to my office if you would like to set up a meeting or call with me about this or any other issue involving the agency.” Lucas also requested input from the right-wing Family Research Council.

Last year, Bloomberg Law reported that Lucas had used “commissioner charges” — a process that allows EEOC members to start a discrimination investigation without a majority vote — to investigate companies that were providing employees with abortion travel benefits, alleging that the companies were discriminating against pregnant and disabled employees.

The records also include Lucas’ registration and travel records for ADF’s 2022 Summit on Religious Liberty in Greensboro, Ga. We previously reported on records reflecting several meetings ADF had with Florida lawmakers as well as with the office of Gov. Ron DeSantis, including emails indicating that DeSantis’ press secretary was also invited to the summit.

On April 8, 2022, the records show, Lucas was at a religious liberty conference at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, where she spoke on a panel alongside Matt Bowman, a senior counsel at ADF, and Roger Severino, the vice president of domestic policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation who served in the Trump administration as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services’ civil rights office. 

Lucas was also invited to ADF’s 2022 Christmas party and an April 2023 Corporate Executive Summit in Banff, Canada, according to the records. She responded that she could not attend the summit because of “another speaking engagement and work trip on April 4 on the East Coast.”

“It’s important to shed light on public officials who are speaking with groups at the center of that nationwide effort to roll back protections” for LGBTQ and abortion rights, American Oversight’s Executive Director Heather Sawyer told Politico

Read more about our ongoing investigations into threats to abortion rights here.

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