SCOTUS “Pregnancy Discrimination” Case Tempts Pro-Lifers to Flip-Flop on State Coercion

The abortion debate ultimately concerns two concepts: the sanctity of human life and the proper application of civil law. Pro-lifers generally champion the latter, while abortion champions pervert it with convoluted judicial rulings that unjustly insulate their desired policies from the democratic process and regulatory mandates that illegally and unconstitutionally compel private citizens and organizations to do their bidding. They lost one such battle in 2014 when the Supreme Court ruled that forcing religious businesses to provide abortifacient drugs violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

But last December, 24 pro-life organizations took a more favorable view of federal workplace intervention. Led by Americans United for Life, a coalition of groups including the Susan B. Anthony List, American Life League, and Students for Life of America filed an amicus curiae brief in Young v. UPS, a Supreme Court battle over alleged pregnancy discrimination. AUL summarizes:

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 [AUL President & CEO Dr. Charmaine] 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” […]

Peggy Young was a driver for UPS when she became pregnant. Though other workers with similar work challenges received a “lighter duty” accommodation, Ms. Young was denied an accommodation during her pregnancy, in violation of the federal PDA. Peggy lost in the two lower courts.

The court ruled 6-3 in Young’s favor in June, and a few days ago she and UPS reached a settlement. But while the temptation to declare victory and move on is understandable, a few words are in order to remind fellow pro-lifers that limited-government, natural-rights principles are just as binding in sympathetic cases as unsympathetic ones. Continue reading