‘Pro-life’ groups still not speaking up for pregnant workers

‘Pro-life’ groups still not speaking up for pregnant workers May 29, 2013

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act has been re-introduced in the U.S. House and Senate. Bryce Covert has a good summary of what the bill does and why it is important:

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act … would require employers to “make reasonable accommodations to employees stemming from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer,” according to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC).

… While it may sound outrageous, women can be fired today for being or becoming pregnant. Despite the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 barring discrimination based on “the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions,” pregnant workers can be forced out of their jobs or denied accommodations that would allow them to keep working. Some of these might include modifying a policy prohibiting food and drink on the job, providing a stool, assigning heavy lifting duties to other workers, or giving a light-duty position to a pregnant employee.

Without this legal protection, thousands of American women are forced to choose between keeping their jobs or keeping their pregnancies.

At the end of the day, anti-abortion politics seem to boil down to controlling and punishing those wicked, wicked women because they can’t be trusted.

And for most people, not keeping your job is not a choice you can afford to make.

So let me be very clear: If you claim to be “pro-life” and yet you don’t support this bill, I have to conclude you are, at best, a sanctimonious hypocrite and not someone whose proclamations on “morality” are deserving of any attention or respect.

I will be forced to conclude that your loudly self-trumpeted moral superiority is nothing — nothing — more than a pretext for binding heavy burdens, grievous to be borne, and laying them on women’s shoulders while you yourselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them.

And, also too, I will have to conclude that you’re kind of a jerk.

I’m still impressed by the number of Good Christian People who loved the recent movie adaptation of Les Miserables, but who, at the same time, have based their entire political and religious identity on making sure that every real woman in Fantine’s situation suffers as miserably as she did.


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