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Do pregnant women deserve special treatment?
May 9, 2013 at 9:37 AM


Pregnant Women Deserve Special Treatment Not Discrimination

posted by Michele Zipp 


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?

Replies

  • chattycassie
    May 9, 2013 at 9:43 AM

     I don't think I have ever been a victim of pregnancy discrimination, here at my job if we need extra bathroom breaks I just need a note from the Dr. That being said I do think we should get a couple "special things" like  a good parking spot, someone to stand and let us sit on the subway/bus (I would do it for an old or disabled person) and maybe cuts to the front of the bathroom line. :)

  • othermom
    May 9, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    I don't think pregnant women need special treatment unless they are high risk or something. I still did basically all the same things I did before pregnancy through all three, including working with my last pregnancy. It is nice for people to help carry things, maybe extra bathroom breaks, but not reschedualing tests and things like that

  • k9l1c5
    by k9l1c5
    May 9, 2013 at 10:00 AM
    I think pregnant women absolutely deserve special treatment with some things, especially rescheduling tests if they coincide with something like giving birth! I was so grateful one time when there was a line at the bathroom and everyone let me ahead of them while I was pregnant.
  • Firenygirl180
    May 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    I don't think pregnant women deserve any special treatment.  As far as rescheduling tests it should be on a case by case basis as it is with any other individual seeking the same thing. 

    Women should not be allowed to get fired for becoming pregnant, but that isn't special treatment that's common sense.


    The "special treatment" I received during pregnancy was being told not to lift things and to be careful.  I had been lifting a 25lb toddler for a few months before I got pregnant and continued to do so throughout my pregnancy so moving a 10lb case of water was nothing.  

    I can understand precautions being taken in high risk pregnancies, but for a normal pregnancy I see no issues with expecting a woman to do what she did before becoming pregnant.  I had a friend who delivered 2 weeks after me and she worked in a factory up until a week before her due date.  


    I was told by a coworker that she was going to limit me to 2 bathroom breaks a shift.  I usually took 3, but one was always on my break.  And she technically couldn't limit the amount of bathroom breaks I took because the managers wouldn't let her do that.  Plus If I really had to go and had an accident I wouldn't be the one cleaning it up.

  • SarahSuzyQ
    May 9, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    This raises some interesting questions... I didn't know that Title IX provided special protections for women who were pregnant, but I can see why it would be necessary in some cases. I think most things should come on a case-by-case basis -- is special treatment really necessary? If so, I see nothing against providing some extra support to a woman in that situation. In some cases, though, it can be carried too far... Just like anything else in life.

  • chrissydan
    May 9, 2013 at 12:07 PM
    I do not think pregnant women deserve special treatment I mean really a special parking paying for school the same things reg people have to do. Im legally blind and I don't get special treatment I just find diffrent ways to do what I have to and mine is permanent
  • onethentwins
    May 9, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    I do think they should be given special treatment and consideration. "Deserve it"? IDK.

  • la_bella_vita
    May 10, 2013 at 10:09 AM

     No, never a victim but I once had to wait in a superlong bathroom line after a movie and I was hoping someone would let me cut in front! I honestly thought I was going to pee my pants! Note to self, never go to the movies 37 weeks pregnant while drinking a giant water bottle!

  • conweis
    by conweis
    May 10, 2013 at 10:39 AM
    I think consideration should be in play. I quit my job in my third pregnancy because my managers were jerks. They decided I should come in an hour earlier and then bitched about me having morning sickness. They cut my hours but still wanted me to do the same amount of work. Including stocking the coolers. All that bending, squatting, climbing a ladder and reaching over my head with heavy boxes caused me to start spotting. I was also told I couldn't eat in the break room after I was off the clock. I would have to go outside in eat during winter. They pushed me out of my job.
  • Hannahsmommy816
    May 10, 2013 at 10:41 AM

     Sure they deserve compassion. I dont expect it though. Was at the BMV when pregnant with dd1 and planned on standing and someone was going to give up their seat and i said no that's okay but she insisted. Caring and compassion is nice but not always necessary! We're pregnant not broken!