Pregnant women enjoy the same civil liberties — including the rights to make decisions about their own health care, to equal treatment under the law, and to conduct their lives according to what they believe is best for themselves and their families — guaranteed to us all.

Unfortunately pregnancy discrimination remains one of the most persistent forms of bias due to culturally entrenched stereotypes about childcare and the role of pregnant women. This often displays itself in the workplace, through employment discrimination, in correctional facilities through the barbaric practice of shackling, and in personal decisions like access to health care.

The ACLU acts to protect the rights of pregnant women who wish to carry their pregnancies to term and to ensure that they can get the health care they need to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

Additional Resources

Pregnancy and Parenting Discrimination (feature): The ACLU has long fought back against these discriminatory practices in the courts and in the legislatures. Women have been fighting the stereotype that they should be at home, barefoot and pregnant, instead of at work for decades. More than 35 years after the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was enacted, it's time for employers to realize they can't force pregnant and parenting workers off the job.

Which Part of 'Pregnancy Discrimination' Didn't They Understand? (2011 blog post): A blog post about a surprising case of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace committed by the Suffolk County Police Department in New York.

Preventing Pregnancy after Rape (2004 pdf): Every day, women who have been sexually assaulted seek treatment at emergency care facilities. Among their concerns is the possibility of pregnancy: each year approximately 25,000 pregnancies result from sexual assault. Emergency contraception (EC) is a safe and reliable method to prevent pregnancy. This overview looks at studies done in states where researchers assessed if a facility provided EC on-site to sexual assault patients.


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