Outrageous: Catholic School Fires Teacher, Five Months Pregnant, for Choosing Artificial Insemination

Christa Dias was a teacher at Archdiocese of Cincinnati schools for nearly two years before, at five months pregnant, the thirty-one-year-old asked about maternity leave. But rather than grant Dias some well-deserved time off, the schools fired her because her baby was conceived by artificial insemination, Cincinnati.com reports.

From Jezebel:

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati requires all employees to sign contracts stating that they'll adhere to Catholic social teachings, including the assertion that being pregnant sans husband is a gravely immoral act. Someone tell that to the Virgin Mary.

The school originally said it fired her for being single and pregnant, but they were informed that that's not technically legal, so they changed their tune to say they fired her for becoming pregnant via artificial insemination.

Dias was fired from Archdiocese of Cincinnati, where she was making $36,000 a year, in October 2010. Now the mother of a of an 11-month-old daughter, she is still unemployed. 

“She has a right to her opinion, but she doesn’t have a right to violate her (employment) contract,” said Archdiocese of Cincinnati spokesman Dan Andriacco.

 But Dias says men, whose soon-to-be-fatherhood is not quite as obvious as a women's, are not punished for breaking for the same rules.  “It’s a double standard. I’m suing so they can’t do this to any more women,’ Dias told Cincinnati.com. If the school's more lenient treatment of men accused of sexual abuse indicates anything, she may be right. From Jezebel:

Perhaps appropriately, the man who fired Dias, Rev. James Kiffermeyer, was himself suspended in 2002 after allegations arose that he engaged in sexual misconduct with two male high school students. He was reinstated in 2006. The archdiocese of Cincinnati hasn't escaped the sex scandal that's engulfed the Catholic Church over the last decade or so, either; in 2003, the archdiocese pled no contest to charges they ignored sexual abuse of boys by clergy in the 1980's and 90's. And the two priests alleged to have engaged in the abuse were suspended like Kiffermeyer, not fired as Dias was fired.

"I’m disappointed more than anything that I couldn’t continue my career because I wanted a child,” said Dias. 

She filed a lawsuit in April, suing for pregnancy discrimination and breach of contract, but it has been put on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court weighs on similar issues in another case. 

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at December 27, 2011, 11:53am

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