To the surprise of no one living in the real world, Planned Parenthood has been accused of discriminating against their employees who are also expectant mothers, per the New York Times.
The report details allegations by Planned Parenthood employees that corroborate that the ‘women’s health’ organization not only broke state and federal protocol, but also foster a work environment that is hostile toward pregnant women, deterring female employees from sharing their excitement about their pregnancy in the workplace.
The first claim is alleged by a former medical aide at Planned Parenthood, Ta’Lisa Hairston, who describes her struggle to implore pregnant patients to rest and take regular breaks in the workplace, when she herself was denied that right during her tenure at Planned Parenthood. She says that despite her pleas to superiors at the Planned Parenthood location at which she worked, citing her high blood pressure and orders from her doctor to rest frequently during the work day, the higher-ups ignored her needs.
“I had to hold back tears talking to pregnant women, telling them to take care of their pregnancies when I couldn’t take care of mine,” she said. “It made me jealous,” Hairston told the Times.
Of course, discrimination against pregnant women is not few and far between in the greater American workplace, but for an organization that takes $500 million from the federal government, and claims to champion all women, to discriminate against those who choose to have children, is the height of hypocrisy.
The report details allegations of Planned Parenthood defying federal and state laws designed to protect pregnant women from this type of discrimination. The employees also allege that the ‘women’s health’ organization sponsored an intrinsic discouragement of pregnancy in the workplace, leaving female employees who chose to have children to feel burdensome, and thus were intimidated by sharing the news and joy of their pregnancies:
“In interviews and legal documents, women at Planned Parenthood and other organizations with a feminist bent described discrimination that violated federal or state laws — managers considering pregnancy in hiring decisions, for example, or denying rest breaks recommended by a doctor. In other cases, the bias was more subtle. Many women said they were afraid to announce a pregnancy at work, sensing they would be seen as abandoning their colleagues,” the Times writes.
These allegations of blatant discrimination launched against Planned Parenthood are not surprising for an organization that puts abortion at the center of their business model, but are disturbing for an organization that claims to support women. Pregnancy is not a burden to employers, and to treat expectant employees as such is morally disgraceful; and, to deny expectant mothers the accommodations they need is equally as reprehensible.