Blog of Rights

The (Not-So-Secret) War on Moms : How the Supreme Court Took Protections Away from Pregnant Workers

The (Not-So-Secret) War on Moms : How the Supreme Court Took Protections Away from Pregnant Workers

By Ariela Migdal, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 11:03am
This week, the Supreme Court ruled, by the all-too-familiar 5-4 margin, that a provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) giving workers time off to care for their own serious health conditions — including pregnancy and childbirth — can't be enforced by state employees in damages lawsuits against their public employers. The decision in Coleman v. Court of Appeals of Maryland effectively stripped many public employees — the majority of whom are women — of the right to job protection when they need to take time off while pregnant. The ACLU had joined an amicus brief arguing that the law was written in a gender-neutral way to provide women workers with the time they needed to go through childbirth and pregnancy-related complications, while ensuring that employers wouldn't discriminate based on the assumption that only women will need to take health-related leave from their jobs. While no opinion garnered five votes, a majority of the Court agreed that the law was not justified as a remedy for a pattern of unconstitutional discrimination against women or pregnant workers.
The War on Women 2.0: Do They Think We’re Stupid?

The War on Women 2.0: Do They Think We’re Stupid?

By Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 2:09pm

Many state legislatures are packing up for the summer, ending a year of full throttle attacks by extremist politicians on our reproductive health decisions.  Reflecting on the last six months, I am left with one big question: Do they think we’re…

Before You Go to a Catholic Hospital, Read This

Before You Go to a Catholic Hospital, Read This

By Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 2:13pm

"Whatever you do, if anything happens, don't take me to St. Vincent's." Those were the words my friend uttered to her husband regularly throughout her pregnancy years ago, when St. Vincent's, a Catholic hospital serving lower Manhattan, was still open.…

Pregnant Woman Suffers. You Won't Believe Who's to Blame.

Pregnant Woman Suffers. You Won't Believe Who's to Blame.

By Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 12:34pm

When you show up at a hospital, in need of medical aid, you expect that you're going to get the care that you need—that the doctors and nurses will figure out what's wrong, explain to you the options for treating it, and give you the best medical…

In South Dakota, The Wolf Has Lost Its Clothes

In South Dakota, The Wolf Has Lost Its Clothes

By Shivana Jorawar, Esq., National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum at 2:32pm

Next week, the South Dakota legislature is expected to pass HB 1162, a bill that stereotypes Asian immigrants and restricts access to abortion. Supporters of the measure are using racially inflammatory language, invoking nativism and warning of the…

ACLU Sues Missouri School District for Illegally Censoring LGBT Websites

ACLU Sues Missouri School District for Illegally Censoring LGBT Websites

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 4:32pm

Can't say we didn't warn them. Back in May, as part of our Don't Filter Me project, the ACLU sent a letter to the Camdenton School District informing them that the web filters they use on school computers were unconstitutionally blocking access…

www.4Parents.gov

By Rachel Hart, Reproductive Freedom Project at 5:32pm

Imagine this: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) decides to put together a Web site to help parents talk to their children about a number of issues, including sex. HHS needs help finding content to populate the site with reliable information…

A Heartbreaking Situation

A Heartbreaking Situation

By Meredith Kormes, Political Strategist, ACLU at 10:05am

Missouri legislators have introduced more than a dozen bills intended to interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. Three bills (HB 1307/HB 1313/SB 519) that were recently debated in the Missouri House and Senate would block a woman needing an…

Victory in the Regina McKnight Case

By Diana Kasdan, Reproductive Freedom Project at 2:23pm
Earlier this week, the South Carolina Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Regina McKnight, a woman convicted in 2001 of homicide after suffering a stillbirth and admitting to cocaine usage, did not have a fair trial. In so doing, the court recognized…
Use Birth Control? You're Fired!

Use Birth Control? You're Fired!

By Jennifer Dalven, Reproductive Freedom Project at 6:36pm

No joke: A bill pending in Arizona would give your boss the green light to fire you for using birth control.