I received this outstanding letter from Feminists for Life and thought I would share parts of it with you. FYI: Weddington is the attorney who fought to overturn Texas’ anti-abortion laws. All bolded text is mine.
As her arguments for abortion before the But she did not demand that these injustices be remedied. Instead, she demanded for women the “right” to submit to these injustices by destroying their pregnancies. made clear, Weddington saw the discrimination and other injustices faced by pregnant women.
Weddington rightly pointed out the unmet needs of students: “…there are many schools where a woman is forced to quit if she becomes pregnant.” But Weddington didn’t argue against pregnancy discrimination or even for alternate solutions for a pregnant student.
Weddington did no better for women in the workplace. “In the matter of employment, she often is forced to quit at an early point in her pregnancy. She has no provision for maternity leave… She cannot get unemployment compensation under our laws, because the laws hold that she is not eligible for employment, being pregnant, and therefore is eligible for no unemployment compensation.”
For women with serious medical needs, she further noted: “There is no duty for employers to rehire women if they must drop out to carry a pregnancy to term. And, of course, this is especially hard on the many women in Texas who are heads of their own households and must provide for their already existing children.”
Weddington clearly saw the bind low-income women face when experiencing unplanned pregnancy: “At the same time, she can get no welfare to help her at a time when she has no unemployment compensation and she’s not eligible for any help in getting a job to provide for herself.”Weddington repeatedly said that women need “relief” from pregnancy, instead of arguing that women need relief from these injustices.
What if Weddington had used her legal acumen to challenge the system and address women’s needs?
By accepting pregnancy discrimination in school and workplace and the lack of support in society for pregnant women and parents, especially the poor, Weddington and the betrayed women and undermined the support women need and deserve.
Since then, millions of women have paid the price, struggling in school and the workplace without societal support. After all, when “it’s her body, it’s her choice,” it’s her problem.
And as we continue to see, 35 years after women won the right to terminate their child’s life, working mothers are continuously discriminated against in jobs, society has zero mercy on the dilemma of working mothers because she CHOSE to give birth to her child, so SHE bears the FULL responsibility of that decision.
Weddington’s comments still stand true today and yet how much “choice” is there when single mothers are punished so much by society? No day care support, no support from discrimination (you have to first prove it), no affordable health care. Sounds like coercion to me.