Today, we filed suit in federal court on behalf of Jennifer Maudlin, a single mother who was fired when her employer learned that she was pregnant. Jennifer's employer – a religiously-affiliated community organization called Inside Out – says that it fired Jennifer for violating its unwritten rule against non-marital sex.
What happened to Jennifer amounts to discrimination based on pregnancy status and gender. Why? Because Inside Out learned about its workers' sexual lives by looking at its women workers' bellies. In fact, Jennifer and other women workers who became pregnant had to hide their bellies for as long as possible because they were terrified of being found out and fired. Unmarried men who had sex, and even those who became fathers, had nothing to fear, because – of course – their bellies wouldn't give them away. In Jennifer's workplace, pregnancy became a "scarlet letter," marking unmarried employees for termination.
The treatment of women workers at Inside Out also subjects women workers to mistreatment based on sex stereotypes. When a person can be thrown out of work because she decides to – or must – take on motherhood alone, what are we as a society saying about her? That she's unworthy of any further association with her coworkers? That she's unfit to participate in economic life? That she doesn't deserve to be able to eat, or pay rent, or buy gas?
Add to that the effects of such discrimination on the children. At least half of children growing up in the U.S. today will spend some if not all of their childhoods in a single-parent family. Single parent families have the highest poverty rate in the country, and the highest rate of lacking health insurance – which in the U.S. is usually provided by an employer. We'd be kidding ourselves to think that employment discrimination against single mothers leaves kids unharmed.
So let's get this straight.
These are the same people who stand on street corners waving pictures of shredded fetuses and attempting to shame every woman walking into a family planning clinic by screaming "Murder" at them. And yet when that young lady is an employee and they feel her pregnancy reflect poorly on their "holier than thou" image, they have no qualms about saying "Pack your shit slut, you are out of here!"
Gotta love those Christian values.
If they were really Pro-Life they would do everything they could to help their female employees get whatever services they would to make sure the baby is born healthy and that he or she is well cared for after they were born.
You know like any caring human being who was not being directed by ancient superstitions would do.