Catholic School Fires Woman for Undergoing In Vitro Fertilization

A woman in Indiana was fired from her job as a Catholic school teacher for using in vitro fertilization. Her situation manages to implicate virtually all of the recent topics on this blog — discrimination based on reproductive choices, specifically pregnancy-related, the ministerial exception to federal anti-discrimination laws, and disability discrimination. Whoa boy.

Emily Herx was fired from her job at a Catholic school for undergoing in vitro fertilization, which the school appeared to think was very un-Catholic, as well as “grave and immoral.”  Continue reading

Birth Control Discrimination in the Details Part II: What’s Pregnancy Got to Do With it?

This is a three-part follow up on a piece I wrote for Slate magazine on whether discrimination against people taking prescription birth control is illegal under federal anti-discrimination law.

What does pregnancy have to do with birth control? Clearly, there is some overlap: women take birth control to avoid becoming pregnant, only women can become pregnant, and only women can take prescription birth control. The latter two facts may change at some point in the distant future, but at the moment, they hold true. Continue reading

Birth Control Discrimination in the Details Part I: A Little Foray Into Legislative Intent

This is a three-part follow up on a piece I wrote for Slate magazine on whether discrimination against people taking prescription birth control is illegal under federal anti-discrimination law.

The Slate article I wrote a while back focused on a bill that had just passed the Arizona House (but which has since been scuttled). The bill focused mostly on allowing employers to refuse coverage of prescription birth control. However, my primary problem with the bill, as I stated in the piece, is that “If [a woman’s] employer is seriously opposed to birth control, and wants to discriminate against her for taking it—even though she’s paying for it herself—a provision in the Arizona bill would allow that.”

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