Mom Fired for Artificial Insemination Pregnancy Takes Stand - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 19 Old 05-30-2013, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
Administrator
 
Melanie Mayo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oregon Coast
Posts: 247
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)

For the second time in two years a woman is fired from a Catholic school for being pregnant.

 

From CBSNews:

 

Quote:
A teacher fired from Catholic schools after becoming pregnant through artificial insemination told jurors Wednesday she didn't know that the procedure violated church doctrine or that she could be fired for it.
 
Christa Dias sued the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the schools over her dismissal, contending they fired her simply because she was pregnant and unmarried. Her attorney, Robert Klingler, told a federal jury in opening statements that the firing violated federal law prohibiting pregnancy discrimination.
 
The archdiocese's attorney, Steve Goodin, previously denied any discrimination and told jurors Dias was fired for violating a contract that required her to abide by Catholic doctrine. The archdiocese has said artificial insemination violates that doctrine and is immoral.

 

Read More

 

 

Do you think it's appropriate for a religious organization to make personal decisions for their employees in this way? 

Melanie Mayo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 19 Old 05-30-2013, 12:41 PM
 
pek64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If the religious organizations don't have the right to keep their views represented *within* the organization, then it's only a matter of time before parental rights are stripped, as well. If you don't agree with the organization, then think carefully before taking a job with that group.
pek64 is offline  
#3 of 19 Old 06-22-2013, 08:24 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

If she's not Catholic but instead another Christian denomination, it seems kind of dumb to expect her to have known about the teaching about artificial insemination. But the whole situation does seem like a time bomb because religious schools have been known to fire employees with stances that don't coincide with theirs, because the legal protections aren't the same. If I were a teacher, I would never take a job at a Catholic school because I disagree with them on a number of matters and even if it didn't eventually come out in some problematic way, it would be uncomfortable. A Catholic school teacher in this area was fired for being gay. I think it stinks, but what did they expect was going to happen?

erigeron is offline  
#4 of 19 Old 06-24-2013, 02:47 PM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,313
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
If she's not Catholic but instead another Christian denomination, it seems kind of dumb to expect her to have known about the teaching about artificial insemination.

I disagree. For one thing, it's pretty common knowledge - I'm a Reformed Baptist and I know about it. Catholics aren't exactly shy about expressing their views on the issue, and it comes up fairly often in newspapers, on talk shows etc.

 

For another, if you join an organisation which explicitly states it requires you to adhere to a certain moral code, of course the onus is on you to look up the specifics of that code. If I joined an organisation run by a religion or denomination other than my own, I'd be particularly careful about looking it up, because I wouldn't want to get in trouble for doing something my own denomination/beliefs permit - for instance, consuming alcohol, wearing pants or having friendships with members of the opposite sex (which are all fine, in and of themselves, in my denomination, but aren't in other Christian ones.)

 

Quote:
Do you think it's appropriate for a religious organization to make personal decisions for their employees in this way?

They weren't making personal decisions for their employee. They were making personal decisions about the moral standards they wished to uphold within their company. SHE made the personal decision to ignore the terms of her contract, and got herself fired.

 

I agree with pek64. It's an erosion of freedom. I find it somewhat Orwellian and disturbing.


If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is offline  
#5 of 19 Old 06-24-2013, 03:18 PM
 
dalia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,969
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Can she sue? I would sue the living daylights out of them.

Wife to one amazing husband superhero.gif, SAHM to DS bouncy.gif 10/09, DS babyboy.gif 10/19,  one furbaby dog2.gif, and lots of chicken3.gif!

 
joy.gif

dalia is offline  
#6 of 19 Old 06-25-2013, 02:06 PM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,313
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)

On what grounds? She signed the contract and broke it.


If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is offline  
#7 of 19 Old 06-25-2013, 03:01 PM
 
dalia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,969
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

On what grounds? She signed the contract and broke it.

Well, she may not have a case. I'm not sure. But if it were me I sure would want to sue. I would consider it discrimination.

This is a tough stance to debate, though, as I don't want to get down on Catholics. But the institution of the church and most religous institutions really bothers me. We talk about the government controlling us and taking away our rights. But to manipulate and control others with God and their faith is criminal, in my opinion. In the end, my vote will go to this brave woman who wanted a family and didn't feel the need to ask her employers for permission.

Wife to one amazing husband superhero.gif, SAHM to DS bouncy.gif 10/09, DS babyboy.gif 10/19,  one furbaby dog2.gif, and lots of chicken3.gif!

 
joy.gif

dalia is offline  
#8 of 19 Old 06-25-2013, 03:26 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm not sure I'm nuts about the idea that your employer can make you sign a contract that regulates what you can do with your private time or with your body, but that does seem to be the current standard. 

dalia likes this.
erigeron is offline  
#9 of 19 Old 06-25-2013, 03:36 PM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,313
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)

It would be discrimination if she could prove the same organisation didn't fire a male employee who was happily going along with his wife's IVF. Otherwise, it isn't. The requirement to hold to the doctrine applies to both sexes.

 

How was the organisation manipulating her? They clearly stated their behavioral expectations; she signed off on it and broke them. That's no more 'manipulation' than a secular company requiring its employees to adhere to a certain dress code, refrain from telling off-colour jokes or take drug tests. Unlike when the government takes away our rights, a person can choose not to work for a company with whose policies she disagrees. Just like I, as a Christian, can choose not to work at a place that requires me to work on Sundays (and I've missed out on several jobs that way), or a place whose compulsory uniform I find immodest, or whatever.

 

And her actions weren't brave. As she claims herself, they were ignorant. If she's telling the truth, she didn't realise that the notoriously-anti-IVF religion whose doctrines she legally promised to uphold might have a problem with her using IVF. How is that brave again?


If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is offline  
#10 of 19 Old 06-25-2013, 03:48 PM
 
34me's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,457
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have to agree with Smokering. I work for an employer that prohibits me from smoking MJ even on my personal time (mostly because "under the influence" levels have yet to be set) although it is legal in my state. So since I like my job, I don't smoke MJ.
34me is offline  
#11 of 19 Old 06-25-2013, 04:10 PM
 
dalia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,969
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
She is brave because she wanted a family and she made a choice to have one on her own.

I was referring to an institution of religion as being manipulative and controlling when they tell a woman what they can and cannot do with their body and that they cannot be a mother without a husband. I believe it is discrimination against her as an I unmarried woman.

Smoking pot is not, in my opinion, the same as having a child. One of them has the ability to impair your ability to function. I don't think the two can be compared.

Wife to one amazing husband superhero.gif, SAHM to DS bouncy.gif 10/09, DS babyboy.gif 10/19,  one furbaby dog2.gif, and lots of chicken3.gif!

 
joy.gif

dalia is offline  
#12 of 19 Old 06-25-2013, 04:20 PM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,313
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)

I've heard of perfume manufacturing plants which forbid their employees from eating garlic.

 

Not that that's on the same level as preventing someone from using IVF, of course, but it's certainly controlling what they do with their personal time and body. And that happens all over the place. Students at plenty of Christian colleges could be expelled for going to a strip club in their off-campus hours, or having out-of-wedlock sex, or many other such moral infringements. I'm not sure if politicians are technically forbidden from soliciting prostitutes, but it can certainly ruin their career if they do. Plenty of companies require their employees to cover up visible tattoos, dye their hair only "natural" colours, wear makeup and so on. And it's considered acceptable to coerce employees into socialising and bonding on their off-duty time.

 

I agree that it's problematic to require control employees' behavior in matters which do not pertain to their ability to do their job well. I'd argue that a flight attendant is just as competent sans makeup, which is clearly about presenting an image (and a somewhat sexist one, at that). I'd certainly be against a company preventing female employees from getting pregnant at all - that's discrimination plain and simple. But preventing an employee from getting pregnant in a certain way, which the company deems gravely immoral, isn't quite the same issue.

 

I guess it comes down to the freedom of an employer to create a workplace culture. It seems to me that you should be allowed to hire people who share your moral outlook, so if you're, say, a conservative Muslim you won't be surrounded by swearing, drinking, smoking people in revealing clothes at work all day and cooking bacon in the staff room. Why not? You can't discriminate based on religion per se, and you obviously can't force your employees to convert; but it seems a reasonable compromise to ask employees to uphold the morals of your particular religion (or non-religious philosophy, if it comes to that). If prospective employees are unwilling to do that, they're free to work elsewhere.

 

A teacher at my old Christian school was fired a while back when it was discovered she wasn't a Christian. I don't think she'd done anything wrong, particularly (although she was a terrible and lazy teacher - I learned nothing in my year in her class) - the firing was for her beliefs, not her actions - but she'd lied about her religion in order to get a job, and parents were sending their kids to the school under the impression they'd be taught by someone who believed the tenets of their religion. So... yeah. I dunno.

 

ETA: Just read the whole article and it seems the organisation *was* applying the doctrine unfairly - not firing a man who was complicit in his wife's IVF. But the article also mentioned she was actively gay and hiding it because she knew it was against Catholic doctrine, which means she deliberately violated the contract in at least one other way. I'll be interested to see how the case turns out.

 

ETA again: Dalia, all religions I know of tell both men and women what they can and cannot do with their bodies, and I don't know of any religions which object to (deliberately) single mothers and do not object to (deliberately) single fathers.

dalia likes this.

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is offline  
#13 of 19 Old 06-25-2013, 04:23 PM
 
dalia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,969
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Sigh... I honestly dunno either. It is a TOUGH one. No simple answer!!

Wife to one amazing husband superhero.gif, SAHM to DS bouncy.gif 10/09, DS babyboy.gif 10/19,  one furbaby dog2.gif, and lots of chicken3.gif!

 
joy.gif

dalia is offline  
#14 of 19 Old 06-25-2013, 05:14 PM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,313
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)

Ain't that the truth!

 

There are times I'm sincerely glad I'm not the king of the world. So many political issues are just unanswerable. I got into a discussion with some friends the other night about the penal system, and we all had some good ideas (we thought!), but eventually came to the conclusion we didn't really have a clue what a workable answer was. And I find the same thing with welfare, free speech, freedom of religion, health care... it's just too haaarrrd.


If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is offline  
#15 of 19 Old 06-25-2013, 05:19 PM
 
dalia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,969
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

Ain't that the truth!

There are times I'm sincerely glad I'm not the king of the world. So many political issues are just unanswerable. I got into a discussion with some friends the other night about the penal system, and we all had some good ideas (we thought!), but eventually came to the conclusion we didn't really have a clue what a workable answer was. And I find the same thing with welfare, free speech, freedom of religion, health care... it's just too haaarrrd.

Not me. I would be AWESOME at king of the world. How about Queen of the Universe?? LOL just kidding. wink1.gif

Wife to one amazing husband superhero.gif, SAHM to DS bouncy.gif 10/09, DS babyboy.gif 10/19,  one furbaby dog2.gif, and lots of chicken3.gif!

 
joy.gif

dalia is offline  
#16 of 19 Old 06-25-2013, 07:39 PM
 
34me's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,457
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I realize that I was sort of comparing apples and oranges. But my point was this - when you take on a job you abide by their rules or you leave. My eh worked in QA at a meat plant for years. The one vegetarian he hired never showed up again after lunch. She took a stand and didn't work there because it went against her beliefs.
34me is offline  
#17 of 19 Old 06-25-2013, 08:45 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

 

I agree that it's problematic to require control employees' behavior in matters which do not pertain to their ability to do their job well. I'd argue that a flight attendant is just as competent sans makeup, which is clearly about presenting an image (and a somewhat sexist one, at that). I'd certainly be against a company preventing female employees from getting pregnant at all - that's discrimination plain and simple. But preventing an employee from getting pregnant in a certain way, which the company deems gravely immoral, isn't quite the same issue.

 

Yeah, I dunno. I guess it just doesn't seem like any of the employer's business to me, as to how she got pregnant. Did they assume she did AI, or did they ask? Why were they even asking? And it's one thing to not be allowed to smoke at work, or cook bacon at work, or to eat garlic (I presume the right to eat garlic isn't legally protected), and another to be told what to do with your uterus, or whether you can take birth control, or what to do regarding any other medical decision. I'm just waiting for a lawsuit about a teacher who was fired for taking birth control pills, because that wouldn't at all surprise me after this case. 

 

I'm also a Christian but not a Roman Catholic. It seems to me that the RCC just keeps making themselves look bad with this kind of thing. They seem to be in the news a lot for doing something anti-gay or anti-woman.  

erigeron is offline  
#18 of 19 Old 06-26-2013, 02:26 AM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,313
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)

Well, if she honestly didn't realise it would be an issue, I suppose there's no reason she wouldn't have told them quite happily in conversation. She was hiding a gay relationship, so they probably assumed she was single and wondered how the baby came about. But yes, one does wonder if they quiz their married staff on the naturalness or otherwise of their pregnancies.

 

With an "uphold Catholic doctrines" clause it would be quite legitimate for them to fire a woman for using BCP, unless she were using it for non-birth-control medical purposes and possibly abstained or used the rhythm method in addition to it (I'm not too clear on the Catholic rules regarding that). It's certainly a pretty invasive question to ask, isn't it?!

 

I have huge issues with Catholicism, including many aspects of their body theology - but I do admire their willingness to "make themselves look bad". They're not trying to win a popularity contest; they're trying to uphold the truth as they see it, despite a near-constant barrage of (sometimes well-deserved and sometimes not) scorn and derision. I find that admirable.

 

Thinking about it, "upholding Catholic doctrines" has some pretty wide room for interpretation. I mean, technically pride and anger are considered sins according to Catholic doctrine, so could one fire a staff member for persistent pride? If a woman got pregnant through IVF but then went to confession and repented, would it be OK? What if she did so repeatedly - would multiple "counts" of IVF be considered worse than multiple "counts" of greed or sloth?


If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is offline  
#19 of 19 Old 06-26-2013, 03:59 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Was she actually in a relationship? I can't tell from the article. Say, for the sake of argument, that she is a lesbian but buys the position that it is morally wrong to act on it, and therefore intends to remain single... would they rather she get pregnant through AI or lose out on her chance to ever be a parent at all? (neither, they'd probably rather that she marry a man and have babies the normal way... ugh.) 

 

"I have huge issues with Catholicism, including many aspects of their body theology - but I do admire their willingness to "make themselves look bad". They're not trying to win a popularity contest; they're trying to uphold the truth as they see it, despite a near-constant barrage of (sometimes well-deserved and sometimes not) scorn and derision. I find that admirable."

 

Yeah, I can see that. Jesus did do that too. But I also think that they have a theology that is at sometimes painful odds with the lives of many if not most people, and stubborn unwillingness to measure your idealism against reality isn't a virtue in my book.

erigeron is offline  
Reply

Tags
News

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off