Here’s a quick little bit on the state of the law affecting affecting pregnant women: Accommodating Pregnant Women at Work.
Pregnant lawyers, ironically, don’t have to deal with the many little (or not so little) ways in which current laws can put a woman out of a job, even during a healthy, normal pregnancy… Access to the bathroom, the ability to sit down, not having to lift heavy items (as the Motherlode post notes as the common barriers to keeping a job while pregnant).
According to Motherlode, at least 8 states have or are working on legislation requiring employers to accommodate pregnant women. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) doesn’t require such accommodations.
The post also points out that one legal scholar is advocating requiring accommodation for pregnant women under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While this might be the most expedient way to achieve change at the federal level, I can’t agree with this approach.
As someone who had a totally normal pregnancy & avoided the ‘medicalization’ of pregnancy & childbirth to the extent I could, I have to say that I did not feel at all disabled. I recognize that sometimes pregnancy is disabling & that a woman must be treated medically in certain circumstances. But to categorically place all pregnant women under the auspices of the ADA could have unintended consequences, psychologically & physically.
It would be much better to fix the PDA or continue requiring accommodations under state law.