Women Fired for Being Unmarried and Pregnant? New California Bill Says No More

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It sounds crazy that a woman could lose her job for taking birth control, having a baby out of wedlock, receiving IVF treatments or having an abortion, but it can, and has, happened. With the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA) aka Assembly Bill 569, state legislators in California are fighting against that.

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The Bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, is currently with Governor Jerry Brown, awaiting a signature. If signed into law, it would prevent employers, mostly pro-life, religious ones, from having any influence over a woman’s reproductive health choices.

“Women in this country have been fired for getting pregnant while unmarried, for using in-vitro fertilization, and for other personal reasons related to their own reproductive health," Gonzalez Fletcher said about RHNDA in a statement. "No woman should ever lose a job for exercising her right to decide when, how, or whether to have a family."

This Bill would also put an end to oppressive codes of conduct that many employees are forced to sign, like Teri James a teacher who was fired from San Diego Christian College in 2012 for being unmarried and pregnant.

Although opponents say companies should be allowed to make their employees practice the organizations’ beliefs, many faith-based businesses are actually supporting the Bill. Last year, 16 groups signed a letter urging the Bill’s passing, asserting that religion shouldn’t be used as a tool to limit access to health care and that people should have the right to make their own personal decisions.

Here’s hoping the Bill gets passed quickly and that the rest of the country follows suit.  

H/T: Refinery29