Last week, the ACLU of Ohio reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a single mother, Jennifer Maudlin.
According to Maudlin, Inside Out, Inc., a Christian-based childcare facility, fired her under an unwritten company policy against non-marital sex after she informed them she was pregnant. The ACLU of Ohio argued that Inside Out’s religious affiliation should not give it free reign to ignore laws against sex discrimination. The case has now been settled and closed in favor of Maudlin.
One struggles to understand why Ohio, a state considered extremely hostile to reproductive freedom, is also a state where pregnant women are discriminated against for carrying their babies to term. Yet this is the exact type of reality that exists when the government seeks to control the most personal decisions in a woman’s life.
All over the state, mothers like Jennifer Maudlin are forced to choose between a job and a pregnancy, but they also are condemned for using birth control or for seeking constitutional access to abortion procedures. Not only is this hypocritical, it’s an intolerable situation for Ohio women.
Read our previous blog post on Reproductive Freedom.
The ACLU of Ohio supports reproductive freedom. This means that a woman's reproductive life is in her own hands, not the government's. This means that a woman has the power to choose her own reproductive future. Again, the emphasis is on the ability to decide rather than the outcome of the decision.
The Ohio House of Representatives recently introduced another version of the so-called “Heartbeat Bill.” House Bill (HB) 69 is an attempt to ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This is the third time in four years they have attempted to pass this dangerous bill. Every time they have failed.
And yet while our anti-reproductive freedom politicians are blinded with the delusion that they should have control over women’s reproductive lives, Ohio still has the 10th highest infant mortality rate in the nation.
Where is the legislation and executive action to address this very real problem? If these politicians claim they care about the life of every potential child, why won't they act to help living children?
A government that supports women and mothers is a government that values the importance of reproductive freedom: access to birth control, unbiased sex education, the right to choose an abortion, and the decision to carry a pregnancy to term.
This is the reality that Ohio women deserve.