On December 3, the U.S. Supreme Court heard an important case, Young v. UPS, which will test the breadth of the 1978 federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The Act is intended to prohibit discrimination against and ensure fair treatment of pregnant women in the workplace, and is critical in helping working women choose life. AUL jointly filed an amicus curiae brief (click here to read the brief) in this case, representing over 23 of our fellow pro-life organizations in support of plaintiff Peggy Young, a pregnant mother, who was a driver for UPS and denied a “lighter duty” accommodation granted to other employees.
Dr. Charmaine Yoest on EWTN
On March 27, 2015, Dr. Charmaine Yoest appeared on EWTN Nightly News discussing the Supreme Court win in the Young v. UPS case. Click here to read the press release and learn more about this victory for pregnant women in the workplace.
Photos from the Hearing
Latest Press Releases & Op-Eds:
The Daily Beast: The Supreme Court Case Uniting Pro-Lifers & Pro-Choicers
Emily Shire | December 3, 2014
Peggy Young will have some surprising legal bedfellows when her landmark case for the rights of pregnant workers is presented before the Supreme Court today. The ACLU, Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund), and the Women’s Law Project are all predictable backers of Young’s suit against her former employer, the United Parcel Service. But Americans United For Life (AUL) and 22 other pro-life groups are also in Young’s corner as she fights for pregnant women in the workplace.
“The purposes of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act haven’t been completely realized,” Clarke Forsythe, senior counsel for AUL tells The Daily Beast. He co-authored the amicus brief filed on behalf of 23 pro-life groups. Forsythe is adamant in his support for Young, who says she was forced to take unpaid leave when she told UPS her doctor forbade her from lifting over 20 pounds during her pregnancy. Instead of making accommodations, as UPS does for workers with disabilities or those injured on the job, the company allegedly treated Young as if she had an “off-the-job injury or condition.” Young says she ultimately lost her health benefits and pension.
Press Release: Pro-Life and Pro-Abortion Advocates Agree; Pregnant Women’s Rights Must be Protected, notes Americans United for Life, as case argued in U.S. Supreme Court
Washington, D.C. | December 3, 2014
As the Supreme Court hears oral arguments today in Young v. UPS, “the need for society to respect a woman’s choice for LIFE will be front and center,” said Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. The case involves the 36-year-old Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and whether it offers any real protection to women who choose life for their unborn children. “Pro-life and pro-abortion advocates agree: This case is about protecting pregnant mothers from employment discrimination,” noted Dr. Yoest. “Women should not suffer physical hardship at work or lose their jobs because they are having a baby. Most especially, pregnant mothers should not be refused the same accommodation offered others with similar work challenges.”
USA Today: Give pregnant women justice in workplace
Clarke Forsythe | December 2, 2014
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear a landmark appeal testing the effectiveness of the 1978 federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. In Young v. United Parcel Service, the court will consider whether the act requires that UPS provide a “lighter duty accommodation” to pregnant workers when it provides such an accommodation to other workers.
One of the unfortunate cultural consequences of the Supreme Court’s sweeping decision in Roe v. Wade was that it resulted in considerable pressure on some pregnant women to abort. Roe taught that abortion is a quick, easy, less-expensive choice and sent the message to many that it might be unreasonable for a woman not to exercise her “constitutional right.” And poor women have faced even greater pressure when taxpayer funding subsidized abortions. Numerous testimonies, incidents of domestic abuse and lawsuits have documented this, year after year. Numerous homicides and assaults of pregnant women have been attributed to their refusal to abort.
The New York Times: Doing Some Heavy Lifting
Gail Collins | November 28, 2014
Young’s case is also one of the very, very, extremely rare occasions when both sides of the abortion rights divide come together. Everybody, from the American Civil Liberties Union to Americans United for Life, understands that most American mothers need to work to help support their families, and nobody wants them to have to choose between having a child and keeping their job.
Press Release: AUL Joins Fight for Workplace Protections for Pregnant Women
Washington, D.C. | September 12, 2014
Americans United for Life filed an amicus brief this week, fighting for continued workplace protections for pregnant mothers, at issue in Young v United Parcel Service (UPS). The landmark case aims to preserve the employment protections of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) for working mothers. AUL Senior Counsel Clarke D. Forsythe was instrumental in drafting the brief and will serve as co-counsel in the case along with AUL General Counsel Ovide M. Lamontagne. Lead counsel on the brief are Carrie Severino (counsel of record) and Jonathan Keim of the Judicial Education Project, and Professor Thomas Berg and Professor Teresa Collett of the University of St. Thomas School of Law.
“Americans United for Life joined this effort to empower women working to provide for their families and to take care of their unborn children. It was absolutely unacceptable that while other employees’ physical needs were accommodated, a hard-working pregnant mother was not given the same options for lighter duty,” said AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “This case is about protecting pregnant mothers from employment discrimination. Women should not suffer physical hardship at work or lose their jobs because they are having a baby. And pregnant mothers should not be refused the same accommodations offered others.”