ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: pregnancy

Young, Pregnant, and At Work

Written by Kelsey Ryland, URGE Law & Policy Fellow The Supreme Court will hear the case of Peggy Young v. United Parcel Service (UPS) on December 3.  Kadijah wrote about the case for us, but in short: Ms. Young, a pregnant UPS employee, was instructed by her doctor to request light duty, but UPS refused to accommodate her request. UPS routinely accommodates other workers with injuries or other limitations. The 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act should protect workers in this situation, but two lower courts have supported UPS. Now the Supreme Court will hear the case and determine whether or not the Pregnancy Discrimination Act has enough force to protect pregnant workers. Protecting pregnant workers is a reproductive justice issue that hugely impacts young people. This isn’t the 1950s anymore and most… Read more »

All About Young vs. United Parcel Service

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review Young vs. United Parcel Service to determine the extent  to which employers have to provide work accommodations for pregnant women. Peggy Young, a former UPS package delivery driver, became pregnant after a succesful in vitro fertilization. Young requested a lighter assignment due to her doctor’s recommendation that she lift objects weighing no more than twenty pounds. On the other hand, UPS’ policy requires employees to lift up to seventy pounds. Her request was denied by the occupational health manager  because her pregnancy did not fall within the jurisdiction of UPS’s policy for receiving alternate work assignments. Because the request was denied, she was forced to take unpaid leave with the loss of health care benefits provided by the company. Upon returning to work… Read more »

Should Men Have a Say in Abortion?

Over the past few years, I’ve had a lot of conversations about abortion. In fact, a large portion of my life has revolved around abortion issues because of the people in my life and the organizations I work with. As a result of all of these conversations, I’ve heard a lot of different and nuanced opinions on how this issue should be handled. One of these opinions that I think is particularly dangerous is the argument that in order to get an abortion, a woman should have to get the consent of the biological father. Before I get any farther, I would like to acknowledge that women in heterosexual relationships aren’t the only people who seek abortions. People that identify with any gender along the spectrum might seek abortions. Women… Read more »

Hey NPR: Stop Shaming Teen Parents!

Earlier this week NPR published an article detailing the success of comprehensive sex-education in lowering the teen pregnancy rate in Denmark, South Carolina. While I believe firmly in the power and importance of comprehensive, sex-positive, sex education for all young people  I was disappointed by the assumption that all teen pregnancies are unwanted and that all teen parents would be better off postponing their families. The article quotes Michelle Nimmons, an advocate for comprehensive sex-ed from Denmark, S.C., saying, “”Great-grandmamas were in their 40s, and parents were in their teens, so a lot of education had to happen.” While I don’t doubt that Denmark’s sex-education was in dire need of a revamp, this kind of rhetoric shaming young parents has dangerous implications for families and the reproductive justice movement as… Read more »

Las Mujeres de Oaxaca

  Hospitals in Oaxaca, Mexico have received a lot of attention recently, and for all the wrong reasons. When local stations and photographers captured an image of an indigenous woman giving birth on the front lawn of a hospital that had turned her away they revealed what seems to be a persisting issue for the indigenous population of Mexico. According to activists in southern, rural Mexico this was not an isolated incident, with twenty reported cases, most occurring in Oaxaca.

What the Drop in the Abortion Rate Won’t Tell You

It’s official, America. According to the newest study on abortion rates from the Guttmacher Institute, the national abortion rate is now in decline.  According to the study by Rachel Jones and Jenna Jerman, the abortion rate declined to 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in 2011.  In comparison, the recorded peak of the American abortion rate was in 1981, with 29.3 per 1,000 and the lowest since 1973 (16.3 per 1,000).  Since 2008, the abortion rate has fallen wholly 13%. It’s easy to get excited about numbers like these from either side of the aisle.  For anti-choicers, fewer abortions is always a good thing. For reproductive justice advocates like myself, fewer abortions may reflect fewer unintended pregnancies and therefore more reproductive freedom and autonomy. But a closer look at… Read more »

Mike Huckabee, Controlling Libidos and Natural Family Planning

Recently, obvious mind reader of women/Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said some troublesome things about contraception coverage. He said that the recent improvements with reproductive health “insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar [??] coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.” The whole “controlling libido” comment reminds me so much of how anti-choice folks push natural family planning, or NFP, as the all-encompassing solution to avoiding hormonal birth control. NFP is a method in which a person uses signs of their body, such as cervical mucus and timing of menstrual periods in order to time… Read more »

Why Should This 21-Year-Old Woman Care about Paternity Leave?

So often the conversations around reproductive justice focus solely on what happens to a person and their (sometimes potential) fetus before birth – contraception, abortion care, safe sex, and sex education.  Especially as a young person who is in no rush to start a family, what matters most me today is access to the contraception and abortion care which will enable me to make informed and conscientious choices about my future family life.  At age 21, on the cusp of graduating college and moving on to “the real world,” babies weren’t high on my Christmas list and they won’t be for quite awhile.

The Truth Behind the So-Called “Culture of Life”

Something that has been getting under my skin recently is the preservation of “life” at all costs by anti-choice activists and politicians. No matter what the circumstances, no matter how painful or risky it is, all “life” must be maintained. So-called pro-lifers have become so obsessed with making sure that a heartbeat is sustained that they’ll ignore the circumstances surrounding it. In fact, that is the entire flaw around being anti-choice. The intricacies and complexities of a person’s life are completely ignored. This goes beyond just the choice to terminate a pregnancy.

Responsibility and Reproduction: Abortion as Radical Self-Care

What is the typical picture that anti-choice politicians paint of a person who chooses abortion? She is a cisgender straight woman (of course). She consented to sex with a cisgender straight man (of course), which means she that she consented to becoming pregnant.  She’s not married, nor does she have children. She’s young and irresponsible. She should have known better than to have sex! The anti-choice view behind sex is pretty obvious: Don’t have sex unless you’re married, because obviously