Pregnancy is a beautiful time in a woman’s life. It is also a time when a woman’s body goes through many changes, which can sometimes be uncomfortable or painful. Despite all of these changes, a woman still has the same rights as before she became pregnant.
Pregnant women are entitled to the same rights as other workers, including the right to paid maternity leave, the right to return to work after pregnancy, and the right to breastfeed in the workplace.
Pregnant women are also entitled to free healthcare, including ante-natal and post-natal care. In addition, pregnant women are entitled to free legal advice if they are thinking about ending their pregnancy.
Read on to explore the different rights that pregnant women have in the workplace, at home, and in society.
1. The right to justice
Justice is a fundamental human right, and this includes pregnant women. If you are pregnant and have been the victim of a crime, you have the right to access the justice system to seek redress.
Pregnant women have the right to receive justice if they experience discrimination, violence, or harm. This includes the right to a fair trial and the right to compensation.
Unfortunately, suppose the pregnancy ends in a stillbirth or miscarriage. In that case, the woman has the right to an autopsy to determine the cause. If the woman experiences domestic violence during pregnancy, she has the right to seek help and protection.
However, during the delivery process, the rights of the mother and child take precedence over the father. The father has the right to be present at birth but does not have the right to make decisions about the child’s future.
In case of medical negligence leading to injury or death of the mother or child, the family has the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If the child goes through congenital disabilities, the parents have the right to file a birth injury lawsuit. The Birth Injury Justice Center has a team of experienced lawyers who can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
2. The right to paid maternity leave
At workplaces worldwide, organizations must provide paid maternity leave to female employees who have recently given birth or are about to give birth.
Pregnancy and childbirth are covered under the FMLA, and you are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. You are entitled to return to your old job after taking time off or a similar position with the same wages and benefits.
3. The right to breastfeed in public
Pregnant women have the right to breastfeed in public. In the United States, all federal law protects a woman’s right to breastfeed in public.
In addition, many businesses and organizations have policies that support a woman’s right to breastfeed in public. For example, Starbucks Coffee Company has a policy that states, “Starbucks upholds the right of mothers to breastfeed their children in our stores. We do not discriminate against customers or employees who choose to breastfeed.”
4. The right to abortion
Even though abortion is a controversial topic, pregnant women have the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
In the United States, the Supreme Court has ruled that a woman has the right to have an abortion until the fetus is viable, usually around 24 weeks of pregnancy.
However, after 24 weeks, a state can ban abortion unless the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy results from rape or incest.
5. The right to free healthcare
Healthcare comes in many forms, and pregnant women have the right to access all conditions.
In the United States, pregnant women receive free healthcare through Medicaid. Medicaid is a government-funded health insurance program that covers low-income individuals and families.
Pregnant women with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level are eligible for Medicaid. In addition, pregnant women who are American Indian or Alaska Native are eligible for free healthcare through the Indian Health Service.
The right to healthcare is a fundamental human right. Pregnant women have the right to free healthcare, including ante-natal and post-natal care.
In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) provides free healthcare for pregnant women, including ante-natal classes, GP appointments, hospital care, and maternity benefits.
In the United States, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all insurance plans to provide coverage for preventive services for women, including well-woman visits, breast, and cervical cancer screenings, and contraception.
Pregnant women who Medicaid covers have the right to free healthcare. In addition, many states have programs that provide free or low-cost healthcare for pregnant women.
6. The right to a safe workplace
Workplace safety is a significant concern for pregnant women. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), more than 600,000 women are injured yearly, and more than 3,000 die from workplace injuries.
Under the OSHA Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers must provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant women, such as more frequent bathroom breaks, larger break rooms, and private lactation areas.
7. The right to fair housing
Among several other protected classes, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on sex.
This means that landlords or homeowners cannot refuse to evict, rent or sell the property to a pregnant woman because she is pregnant.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, a landlord can refuse to rent to a pregnant woman if she wants to live in a single-family home, and the landlord only rents to families with children.
8. The right to a fair trial
Pregnant women have the right to a fair trial. In the United States, the Constitutional Amendments of Due Process and Equal Protection apply to pregnant women.
These amendments guarantee that the government will not mistreat pregnant women. They also guarantee pregnant women will receive the same treatment as other citizens.
Pregnant women have many rights. These rights include the right to free healthcare, the right to a safe workplace, the right to fair housing, and the right to a fair trial. Although this is a controversial topic, pregnant women also have the right to abortion. Overall, pregnant women should be aware of their rights and know they are protected under the law.