Background: A former employee at San Diego Christian College (SDCC), Teri James, 29, was fired for engaging in premarital sex. She was pulled into her supervisor’s office, asked if she was pregnant (she was), and then let go. Despite signing a contract which included a provision agreeing not to engage in “sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex,” Teri is suing.
What’s rich about this story: SDCC then offered the job to her now-husband, even though they were aware he had premarital sex as well.
I understand wanting employees who can serve as role models, especially in religious schools where the code of conduct is held in high regard. And perhaps Teri won’t win the suit because of the contract she voluntarily signed. But still the question remains: are “lifestyle contracts” that tie pregnancy to your career and finances a good idea from a pro-life perspective?
Teri said, “I was unmarried, pregnant and they took away my livelihood.” This disturbs me. Because of her pregnancy, Teri was stigmatized and she lost her job. That’s not exactly a “Choose Life!” message, is it? If we aren’t going to actively help pregnant women in need, we could at least try not to hurt them. And does anyone else see the irony in throwing pregnant women under the bus in the name of setting a good example?
That’s assuming example-setting was the true reason for Teri’s termination. In a Florida case last year, the court determined that a school may have fired a woman not because she got pregnant while unmarried, but because the school didn’t want to find a replacement for her while she would be on maternity leave. Considering SDCC hired Teri’s fiancé right after firing her for premarital sex with her fiancé, dodging maternity leave costs seems all the more likely.
But let's assume the school is truly concerned with the example Teri has set. In that case I ask you: is it more pro-life to discourage premarital sex or to encourage support of pregnant women?