Google and the Politics of Pregnancy

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By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director

She was married, but finances were tight. So when she was abruptly dismissed from her job, the removal carried with it a decimating economic sting.

The reason for her forced departure? She was pregnant with me.

I always felt a tinge of sadness and a healthy amount of outrage when I heard my mother recount the story of how she lost her job because of her first pregnancy. It seemed so unjust, so cruel.

But that was so long ago. Surely, the situation is much improved today for pregnant women.

However, perhaps times have not changed all that much—at least among some short-sighted employers.

Consider this report from The Daily Caller. A former Google employee alleges the tech giant discriminates against pregnant women. Here are her heartfelt words:

  I’m sharing this statement because I hope it informs needed change in how Google handles discrimination, harassment and retaliation. … The details are important in understanding the often drawn-out, isolating and painful experience of victims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

The woman had been told she could not manage a corporate team because her maternity leave would “stress the team” and “rock the boat.”

In a statement to the Daily Caller, Google countered: “We prohibit retaliation in the workplace and publicly share our very clear policy. To make sure that no complaint raised goes unheard at Google, we give employees multiple channels to report concerns, including anonymously, and investigate all allegations of retaliation.”

Nevertheless, if the allegations prove true, the situation is a stunning example of the lack of support that can drive a pregnant woman to abort. Research has shown that support—material, emotional, psychological—can be key in determining whether a woman chooses life for her preborn baby.

Companies need to provide supportive environments for pregnant women and new mothers. Such women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect—and their choice for life needs to be respected as well.

Any one of us can be the voice for change that enables pregnant women to thrive in what might otherwise be a less-than-welcoming workplace. It is these everyday encounters that can help empower women to bring their babies safely into the world.

Reaching Out to Pregnant Women Facing Challenges

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By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

gallagher@paprolife.org

One of the greatest attributes of the pro-life movement is the concern it shows to pregnant women facing serious challenges in their lives.

There is no woman in Pennsylvania–or across the country–who should feel as if she is being forced into abortion. Help is as close as the nearest cell phone or Internet connection.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation has the most comprehensive list of PA pregnancy care centers on the World Wide Web. Chances are you or a friend can find a center within driving distance of home. You can find the complete list here.

You can also call the toll-free hotline at 1-888-Life-Aid.  Compassionate, caring individuals are ready to take your call.

To be pro-life is to be pro-woman…both supportive of the woman carrying a child…and of the daughter inside her mother’s womb.

Abortion: The Faulty Fix

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director
gallagher@paprolife.org

The couple was already in their 30s when they met and married. Less than two months after the nuptials, the wife became pregnant.

It was unplanned. It would be quite late in the game before the husband, who was Maria rose picturefacing serious financial struggles, knew of the pregnancy. When the birth became imminent, they were hoping for a boy, and they planned to name him Harry, after his maternal grandfather.

The birth was quite scary. It happened in the apartment they shared, with the husband receiving delivery instructions from the doctor via telephone. The baby arrived before the ambulance did.

In recalling that day, the wife remarked that, when a woman gives birth and she is handed that baby for the first time, “It is a tremendous gift.”

Again and again, she would recall that gift, and her devotion to her first-born daughter knew no bounds.

I was the unexpected daughter.

My mother would often remark how boring she thought life would have been without her children. Both her daughters were unplanned, but they both brought her unintended joy and laughter. Upon her death, my mother’s close friend told me how very proud my mother had been of her children.

Many factors may drive a woman to an abortion center–financial trouble, a coercive boyfriend or husband, abuse, just to name a few. These problems are serious and should be dealt with. But abortion is not the fix.

A woman leaves an abortion facility just as poor as when she went in–generally, about $450 poorer. Her relationship troubles with her significant other aren’t resolved–in fact, the tension arising from the abortion, the regret, and the emotional fallout can make things worse.

What a pregnant woman in dire difficulty needs is a hand of friendship–one that will not take the “tremendous gift” that she has been given from her.

For that one, precious, unrepeatable gift has more value than the entire universe.

Whether the Supreme Court recognizes it or not.

Chemical Abortions Are Dangerous, Ineffective

RU-486, a chemically-induced abortion drug, was hailed as a wonder when it first was introduced to the United States.

A woman could have a “safe,” “easy” abortion without any cold metal instruments or “invasive” procedures, proponents said. A woman just takes the drug and – ta da – no more pregnancy.

But research flies in the face of this propaganda. RU-486 actually is a very dangerous, often ineffective drug.

Not the morning after pill, RU-486 is a steroid that blocks the hormone progesterone, which is needed for a pregnancy to continue. The drug starves and suffocates the baby to death over a period of three to four agonizing days. A second drug usually is taken to induce contractions to expel the baby.

RU-486 has serious health risks for the women who take it. Side effects include heavy bleeding, fever, cramping, diarrhea, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, infections, and more.

Sometimes, the drug fails to finish its deadly deed – and the woman must undergo a surgical abortion. When the chemical abortion doesn’t work correctly, the risks also are more serious, including uncontrolled bleeding, infection, and future birth defects.

A recent study in Vietnam found that one in four women had to undergo a surgical abortion after an incomplete RU-486 abortion, according to a recent Contraception article.

The drug also makes it difficult for women and doctors to distinguish between ordinary side effects (heavy bleeding, pain) and signs of a more serious problem such as hemorrhage, ruptured ectopic pregnancy, or infection, according to an article from the Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change.

Yet, the number of abortion centers offering chemical abortions has been steadily increasing.

Planned Parenthood recently issued a national directive that all of its centers offer abortion services by 2013. As a result, some Planned Parenthood centers in Pennsylvania that didn’t do abortions previously now offer these dangerous chemical abortions.

This expansion and promotion of abortion must stop. RU-486 is a dangerous, painful drug that can be seriously injurious or deadly to the woman, as it effectively or ineffectively kills her preborn child.