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Planned Parenthood discriminates against its pregnant employees — I’m not surprised

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Planned Parenthood infamously prides themselves on being a purveyor of women’s equality. Yet, according to a recent New York Times investigation, former and current employees have accused the organization of discriminating against them when pregnant. The Times turned up what seems to be a consistent lack of sympathy for gestating women and their need for doctor-ordered rest, maternity leave, and even lunch breaks. 
Yes, this is big news — the hypocrisy of this so-called champion of women — but is it really all that surprising? After all, Planned Parenthood is in the (big) business of ending pregnancies, not supporting them. 
{mosads}For a corporation or a workplace to give expectant mothers the various accommodations they need to flourish at work, laws against discrimination are not enough. A culture of appreciation and respect for the vital job these workingwomen have undertaken  — ushering a child into the world while tending to their 9-to-5 jobs — must also exist. However, at a corporation whose bread and butter is the business of taking unborn children out of the world, the inherent lack of respect for human dignity should come as no surprise. 
This huge corporation, which receives over half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding each year, claims it provides comprehensive women’s health care, but it exists mainly to perform abortions. In fact, Planned Parenthood provides no prenatal care, and will only perform fetal ultrasounds when planning an abortion procedure. It does not offer mammograms and performs less than two percent of women’s cancer screenings in the country, while performing more than 30 percent of the abortions – which works out to over 300,000 pregnancies ended each year.
Although Planned Parenthood does not offer paid maternity leave to its modestly compensated employees, it does use its enormous revenues to influence elections. For the 2016 elections, the corporation spent over $20 million to support the candidates committed to keeping tax monies coming to the company. That still leaves plenty of money in a company whose clinics brought in about $1.5 billion from donations and taxes in 2016.  
And yet, according to the Times, a “dozen lawsuits in federal and state courts since 2013 accused managers of denying workers rest periods, lunch breaks, or overtime pay, or retaliating against them for taking medical leave.” Because of such unfair practices, Planned Parenthood employees who become expectant mothers are afraid to tell their managers they are pregnant. Worse still, the Times tells of several employees who were hounded to return to work early or fired while on leave.
Normal pregnancies take a significant physical toll on women. Nausea, fatigue, leg swelling, heartburn and hemorrhoids are a few of the common side effects. And, when pregnancies get complicated, a positive outcome may necessitate extra rest at work or even extended leave and bed rest. As a society we have already committed to accommodating pregnant women, just as we do for people with disabilities.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires that expectant mothers be provided light duty or alternative assignments, as other temporarily disabled employees would be. The law reflects our societal commitment to the belief that women should not have to choose between having children and pursuing their own career. 
But, according to The New York Times, Planned Parenthood, the taxpayer-funded “women’s health” corporation, is more committed to pregnancy discrimination than it is to the health of the women they employ. 
Sadly, until Planned Parenthood stops putting abortion on a pedestal, this is exactly the type of culture we should come to expect. After all, what could be more natural than an atmosphere of intolerance for pregnancy, in a corporation dedicated to ending them
DrGrazie Pozo Christie M.D. is a radiologist and a policy advisor with The Catholic Association.
Tags Planned Parenthood Pregnancy

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