Elizabeth Warren Is Helping to Share Other Women’s Pregnancy Discrimination Stories

Emma Specter

A difficult part of Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren’s past has resurfaced lately, with commentators and outlets challenging the story she’s frequently told of being replaced at her job as a 22-year-old public school teacher in New Jersey because she was visibly pregnant.

“By the end of the first year, I was visibly pregnant, and the principal did what principals did in those days: wished me luck, showed me the door, and hired someone else for the job,” Warren said at a town hall in Oakland in June, a story that has struck a chord with many women who have faced similar experiences of pregnancy discrimination at work.

Undaunted, Warren seized the opportunity to share stories from other people who have faced pregnancy discrimination more recently in a video released on Twitter on Wednesday. “I was fired the day after I [gave notice about] my pregnancy and was told it was because I ‘wasn’t likeable enough.’ I got a lawyer and a settlement,” read one tweet.

“When I got pregnant for the first time, I was excited and told everyone at work. A few weeks later, I got a surprise forcible lateral transfer to a less prominent department. I miscarried that week, and in the trauma, I didn’t make the connection,” read another.

Watch the full video below:

While the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was introduced in the House in 2017, to “prohibit employment practices that discriminate against making reasonable accommodations for job applicants or employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions,” the sad truth is that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saw a 50 percent increase in the number of pregnancy discrimination charges filed between 1997 and 2011, and the numbers haven’t improved much since then, according to ACLU senior staff attorney Gillian Thomas.

For now, at least we have one presidential candidate willing to speak to the reality of too many women’s experiences; given that abortion rights didn’t even come up in a three-hour Democratic debate in September, it’s comforting to see Warren meaningfully engaging with issues surrounding women’s reproductive rights.

See the videos.

Originally Appeared on Vogue