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Dear Amy,

I"m taking a college Ethics course and we were presented with this scenario and I was wondering if you could help me out a little bit and give me your perspective on this situation. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Here is the scenario:

It is hard to keep a secret in a small town. It is even harder for individuals with a high profile in the community to keep a secret. News travels fast.

Several years ago two of the high school cheerleaders became pregnant during the school year. At the time the pregnancy was revealed the girls were only a few weeks pregnant and there was not physical evidence of their pregnancy. When the situation became public the parents of one of the girls talked to their daughter and said that they would pay for an abortion. In fact, they encouraged her to have the abortion saying that this would allow her to continue to pursue her dreams that included going to college and becoming a doctor. Their fear was that a child would make it necessary for her to go to work. The father of the boy with whom she had the relationship said that the boy would not marry her adding that “boys will be boys.” He offered to share half of the expense of the abortion.

When the news of the situation reached the school board the decisions was made to allow the girls to continue their education, but they had to drop all of their extracurricular activities like cheerleading. In addition, they would not be able to qualify for any of the school honors which meant that they would not be eligible for scholarships to college. The boys were given a verbal reprimand, but that was extent of any acknowledgment of their involvement in the situation.

Develop a response to the school board that defends the girls. Use a feminist virtue argument as your defense.

Thank you,

College Ethics Student


Dear College Ethics Student,

The School Board is treating pregnancy as a disability, when in fact it was long ago proven that most women can continue to keep their regular schedules while pregnant. Their bodies tell them when to stop, not school boards.

Also, this is discrimination under the law, you can't discriminate against pregnant women, which is what the school board is doing. It is discrimination further because you can't deny something to one gender and not the other. This is similiar to some honors programs not accepting women if they are pregnant, yet the only way they determine pregnancy is visual, and that has been proven to be discriminatory.

Good luck.

-- Amy


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