Fetal Rights, Women's Rights: Gender Equality in the Workplace
Suzanne Uttaro SamuelsISBN: 0299145441;
In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, many private employers in the United States enacted fetal protection policies that barred fertile womenthat is, women who had not been surgically sterilizedfrom working in jobs that might expose fetuses to toxins. In Fetal Rights, Women's Rights, Suzanne Samuels analyzes these policies and the ambiguous responses to them by federal and state courts, legislatures, administrative agencies, litigants, and interest groups. She poses provocative questions about the implicit links between social welfare concerns and paternalism in the workplace, including: are women workers or wombs? Placing the fetal protection controversy within the larger societal debate about gender roles, Samuels argues that governmental decision-makers confuse sex, which is based solely on biological characteristics, with gender, which is based on societal conceptions. She contends that the debate about fetal protection policies brought this ambiguity into...
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