Pregnant Women Deserve Special Treatment Not Discrimination

Rant 47

pregnantThere are some who feel that pregnancy is not a disability. And it certainly isn't ... in most ways. But in the eyes of the law (and the land) perhaps it has to be seen as such in order for us to have rights. Let's face it: there are things we just cannot do when we are pregnant that we were able to do prior and after. And I'm not just talking about seeing our feet. Pregnant women deserve special treatment. We deserve the special parking space at the mall and the seat on the subway. And we deserve understanding from bosses or teachers. But we don't always get it.

There are women who are fired from their jobs for being pregnant. There are women who are in school, paying for a good education, only to be discriminated against because they are pregnant.

We deserve to be able to reschedule tests at school if they interfere with the fact that we are pregnant and about to give birth. With pregnancy discrimination on the rise, respect for pregnant women feels like it's at a major low. We don't expect some special red carpet rolled out every time we step outside, but we should be treated with respect and understanding. Empathy is a human emotion far too many lack.

There are situations where pregnant women lose their jobs and it's covered up by bosses by supposed "lay offs" or some sort of loophole where they don't blame pregnancy but it's clearly the reason. Last year a pregnant woman was fired for taking too many bathroom breaks. Hello empathy. Are you there?

Slate's Jessica Grose shed light on pregnancy discrimination when it comes to education. When Borough of Manhattan Community College honors student needed to make arrangements for the end of the semester because that was her due date, her teacher was not understanding. Interestingly it was a women's studies class. Gina Crosley-Corcoran aka The Feminist Breeder also discovered how her professors at a Chicago university weren't accepting her pregnancy and birth as an excuse to miss class. She learned we have rights. And it's called Title IX. Schools are required by law to allow pregnant students to reschedule exams.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act should be also protecting the rights of women in the workplace, but the law doesn't fully protect us. Take for example nursing home activities director Victoria Seredny who was fired from her job because she was pregnant -- high-risk -- and could no longer lift or move heavy objects per doctor's orders. She sued and lost. 

Seat on a subway, extra bathroom breaks, rescheduled tests -- I think we deserve all these things and more when we are pregnant. I hope The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's recent move to shed light on and correct pregnancy discrimination helps make some changes. But to start, I really think people need to get in touch with their human side more and show some compassion for life.

Have you been victim of pregnancy discrimination? Do you think pregnant women deserve special treatment?


Image via David Boyle/Flickr

the pregnant life, discrimination


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

LostS... LostSoul88

I was fired for being pregnant. FIRST they said it was because I made to many trips to the bathrooma dn couldnt do my job properly but when I stats came otu adn I was still one of the top employees they started to say I was fired for not telling them. It was none of their damn business. They can clearly see I am pregnant I don't ned to run to them the moment I found out I was pregnant. I live in a free to work state AKA free to fire. So they got away with it. 

BeccaLS BeccaLS

Yes, pregnant women deserve to keep their jobs, and yes they deserve to be able to reschedule things at school.

Other than that, they don't "deserve" anything else. You chose to get pregnant, the whole world doesn't have to cater to you because of your descision.

B1Bomber B1Bomber

Rescheduling exams and keeping jobs where pregnancy doesn't interfere with your performance, yeah. Special treatment? No. You chose to get pregnant. If you can't handle it, that's your problem. I had two miserable pregnancies, and the only concessions I asked were from my husband.

LadyM... LadyMinni

Pregnant women (and moms) don't deserve special treatment. It isn't some horrible, debilitating disability. It is a CHOICE. Your did it to yourself. Don't go expecting the world to bend over backwards for you just because you're knocked up. It isn't a miracle, it isn't special, it is one of the most commonplace things in the world. I weep for the next generation of children, raised into such entitlement.

Pregnant woman should be allowed to keep their jobs -provided they are still capable of doing them. Pregnant women shouldn't be able to reschedule things at school I have an actual, legitimate, life-threatening physical disability and I can't reschedule things at school. Why on earth should a woman be able to do so because she is pregnant?

You keep saying that having babies, raising babies, breastfeeding babies, co-sleeping with babies is the natural thing. If it's so natural, you just do it, you don't need special treatment.

P.S. pregnant women are supposed to walk, so take whatever parking spot you get. If you have a legitimate problem then go get a temporary handicap parking permit. All you need is a letter from your doctor.

nonmember avatar blue

Pregnancy is a CHOICE. I don't expect to be catered to and coddled, because I CHOSE to have a child. Having a child is not a requirement in life, it is a CHOICE. If a woman can't fulfill the requirements of her job, because of her pregnancy...she shouldn't keep her job. She is not disabled, she made a choice. You can't have it both ways. You either want to be equal, or you want special treatment.

sassy... sassykat122

Okay, i get the 'You chose to get pregnant so you don't deserve special treatment' theory. Because in theory it is true. But let's follow that logic then. What about the person who has open heart surgery due to blocked arteries. We immediately feel empathy, people coming out of the woodwork to help. That person most likely 'chose' it due to lifestyle. Why different? Or the person with skin cancer? Its called basic human compassion.

femal... femaleMIKE

spcial treatement=no

temporary reasonable accomodations for the people with issues = yes


femal... femaleMIKE

USA is backwards towards their treatment of pregnant women.

Bridg... Bridget1981

The only time that I have asked for my pregnancy to be taken into consideration is when we were scheduling our older 2 children's First Communion at church.  The parents of children who would be celebrating this sacrament were given a choice of 2 dates (the second of which fell quite close to my due date) and I asked the other parents if we could please choose the earlier one so that there was a higher likelihood of my being able to attend.  I didn't see any problem with that as we had a choioce to the dates.  If we hadn't, our famiily would have just had to hope that it all worked out.  I would not have demanded that the other families accomodate us just because i happened to be pregnant. 

berna... bernard808

Special treatment? Really?

1-10 of 47 comments 12345 Last