You have /5 articles left.
Sign up for a free account or log in.

Two University of Texas at Austin professors have joined a state lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education and Education Department officials to block new Title IX regulations from going into effect this summer.

Texas, along with other red states, has sued over concerns about new Title IX regulations, particularly the expansion of Title IX sex discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ students. Now UT Austin professors Daniel Bonevac and John Hatfield have joined that lawsuit because of concerns about abortion—specifically, they argue that they would be required to excuse student absences for out-of-state travel for abortion, which they are unwilling to do. Abortion access has been severely curtailed in Texas after the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade.

“Plaintiffs Hatfield and Bonevac do not intend to accommodate student absences from class to obtain abortions—including illegal abortions and purely elective abortions that are not medically required,” reads the amended complaint filed last week. “Nor will Plaintiffs Hatfield and Bonevac hire a teaching assistant who has violated the abortion laws of Texas or the federal-law prohibitions on the shipment or receipt of abortion pills and abortion-related paraphernalia.”

In a legal declaration, Bonevac wrote he has “no intention of complying with the Biden Administration’s recently announced Title IX edict, which has nothing to do with ‘sex’ discrimination and represents nothing more than an attempt to force every educator in the United States to conform to a highly contentious interpretation of gender ideology and abortion rights.” Bonevac added that he refuses to use “they” pronouns for individuals, and will not allow his teaching assistants to engage in “cross-dressing” while teaching or interacting with students. 

While America First Legal, which has partnered with Texas in its opposition to the new Title IX rules, announced the addition of the professors to the case on May 14, the news largely flew under the radar before it was picked up by The New Republic and local media last week.

Hatfield teaches finance and Bonevac teaches philosophy at UT Austin.

Next Story

Written By

More from Quick Takes