NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts
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Healthy Pregnancy

NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts believes that every woman has the right to choose a safe, healthy pregnancy. 

Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

Pregnant women should not have to fear losing their jobs when they can continue working with a reasonable adjustment. At a time when families are struggling to make ends meet, Massachusetts must promote equal opportunity in the workplace by leveling the playing field for women workers, including pregnant employees.

  • Over half of all pregnant women and new mothers in Massachusetts are in the labor force and earning income to support their families.
  • Three-quarters of women entering the workforce in our country will be pregnant and employed at some point in their lives. Some of these women—especially those in physically strenuous jobs—will face a conflict between their duties at work and the demands of pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women are pushed out of their jobs and often treated worse than other employees with similar limitations because the law does not guarantee reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and childbirth.
    • A pregnant Massachusetts woman was not allowed to take breaks to sit—even after she fainted multiple times at her job.
    • A pregnant factory worker was kicked out of her job after she asked to avoid overtime temporarily upon her doctor’s orders.
    • A supermarket employee was pushed onto disability leave when she asked for a temporary reprieve from heavy lifting while pregnant. The disability payments and her health insurance ended one month before she gave birth.

 An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Worker Fairness Act would protect pregnant workers from workplace discrimination and losing their jobs. This bill would guarantee that all workers are treated fairly by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant and nursing workers. 

(Thanks to MotherWoman for the statistics above.)


Healthy Pregnancies for Incarcerated Women

Last legislative session, we fought tirelessly to pass An Act to Prevent Shackling and Promote Safe Pregnancies for Female Inmates to stop the practice of shackling pregnant inmates in Massachusetts when they give birth.

Before the Anti-Shackling bill passed, women who give birth while incarcerated were shackled during pregnancy and childbirth. Shackling pregnant women is unsafe for the mother and the baby, and violates basic standards of decency. Fifteen other states and the federal Bureau of Prisons prohibit shackling of pregnant women. We applaud Massachusetts for joining the growing consensus.

NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts will continue to protect incarcerated women's access to choice. We will monitor the implementation of the Anti-Shackling law to make sure that no Massachusetts woman is handcuffed while being transported to the hospital, restrained during labor, or shackled immediately post-delivery. 


To learn more, email Rebecca Hart Holder, Execuitve Director, at rebecca@prochoicemass.org.

 
 
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