Disdain for pregnant women in the workplace is at a record high in our nation. Pregnancy Discrimination cases are on the rise. In the past ten years the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC has resolved pregnancy discrimination cases totaling $150.5 million in damages for over 52,000 women. Some say this is because of a competitive labor market that shows little mercy to moms. I believe this is yet another tragic byproduct of our acceptance of abortion.
While abortion does not cause this discrimination, it has lead to a widespread devaluing of motherhood in society. How can we expect a nation that encourages women to kill their children to also respect the vocation of motherhood? Motherhood is being mocked, belittled, and demolished with every baby sacrificed at the altar of convenience. Abortion is an evil root that bears the fruit of dishonor towards women. Women are continually pressured to choose abortion to enable them to continue pursuing education and career goals. Children are thought of as burdensome, unworthy investments that hinder productivity. If mothers think that way, why wouldn’t employers and bosses do the same?
Women who bravely balance family and career responsibilities are struggling because of scrutiny in the workplace. Dr. Mary Beamer is a chiropractor who was fired from her job after missing 11 days of work because of “Hyperemesis Gravidarum” – a severe case of morning sickness that causes dehydration. Beamer’s employer was given documents from her emergency room and doctor’s appointments. Before returning to work, Mary got an unpleasant phone call from the practice’s owner. She was told, “I don’t want you coming back to the office because I don’t like how you are running it.” Mary was fired and her health insurance benefits were canceled within days.
In an attempt to get justice, she sued for pregnancy and sex discrimination in 2007. Her employer counter-sued for $50,000, claiming that Beamer was required to pay for lost patient services and training per her employee agreement. In May 2012, her case will finally be brought before a judge. Beamer told ABC News that she “lost almost everything.” Her family lost their home and had to move into her sister’s basement. She is now living with her husband and daughter in another city, awaiting trial.
We have laws that protect pregnant women in the workplace. Mainly the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act provides some employees with three months of unpaid leave to care for their child. Last month, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a public meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss pregnancy discrimination. A question was raised as to why pregnancy discrimination continues to increase after the Act was passed to prohibit it. Joan Williams, director of the Center for Work Life Law at the University of California-Hastings, said it may be because the stereotypes regarding gender and caregiving are very strong. “Although nobody says, ‘This is not a suitable job for a woman,’ they say, ‘This is not a suitable job for a mother.’”
Mary Beamer’s lawyer told ABC News that pregnant women are losing their jobs because they might need to use the bathroom more frequently than “normal,” pump breast milk, or sit down periodically.
Donnicia Venters claims she lost her job because she asked if she could pump breast milk in the backroom. She called the company president to talk about her return to work. After mentioning the breast pump, He said, “Well, we filled your spot.” When she questioned, he replied, “Well, we thought you were not coming back.” Venters said she was willing to pump at home if necessary. Her case was brought to court, and a Texas judge ruled in favor of her employer, stating that “firing someone because of lactation or breast-pumping is not sex discrimination.”
Some cases are even stranger. A pregnant nursing home activities worker was fired for not being able to lift a table, and a retail worker was fired because she needed to drink water on the job.
Physically weaker, pregnant women are being mistreated. Companies are prioritizing production over people. Loyal workers are being pushed out with little or no remorse from their employers. Women wonder if announcing their pregnancy will cost them their job. People cling to contraceptives and silently head to abortion centers because of fear. What type of culture has Roe v. Wade produced? A selfish, individualistic, money-hungry, unjust nation.
A society that allows abortion is one that unwittingly suffers the consequences of generations of disempowered and devalued women. The fight for women’s rights begins in the womb.