By Bob Allen
The Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission joined other groups in siding with a former UPS delivery driver forced to go on unpaid leave when she became pregnant in a case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Dec. 3.
Peggy Young, a former UPS worker in Landover, Md., presented a note from her doctor in 2006 saying she shouldn’t lift more than 20 pounds during her pregnancy. While UPS reassigns workers injured on the job to lighter duty, the company told Young they didn’t offer light duty to pregnant workers and she couldn’t continue as a driver.
Young sued UPS under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, a 1978 amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits employment discrimination “because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.”
Last year the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court ruling finding that her request was not a legitimate PDA claim but rather a request for preferential treatment.
In a friend-of-the-court brief dated Sept. 11, 2014, the ERLC and others claim one intent of the PDA is to reduce pressure on women in the workplace to have an abortion.
“Pregnant women should not have to decide between loving their babies, caring for their health and making a living,” ERLC President Russell Moore said in a news release.
Moore, who recently convened his first national ERLC conference around the topic of homosexuality and marriage, is turning sights for his 2015 Leadership Summit to “The Gospel for Life: Developing a Whole Life Pro-Life Ethics.”
The goal of the conference, scheduled March 26-27 in Nashville, Tenn., is to “equip Christians to champion the sanctity of life ‘from womb to tomb.’”
Moore also wants to increase the visibility of Southern Baptists in January 2016 at the March for Life, an annual event in Washington marking the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
“I’m there every year, and I am always amazed at how many more of our Roman Catholic friends are there marching for the unborn and for a pro-life, whole-life ethic,” Moore said recently. “I don’t want anybody fewer who are singing ‘Ave Maria,’ but we need a lot more who are singing ‘Amazing Grace’ there at the March for Life.”