Teacher Sues Christian College, Fired Her for Getting Pregnant

State   |   Sarah Terzo   |   Mar 11, 2013   |   6:36PM   |   San Diego, CA

A woman who was fired from her job at a Christian school after becoming pregnant is planning to sue the school. 29-year-old Teri James was dismissed from her job at San Diego Christian

College after she admitted to her supervisor that she was pregnant outside of marriage. James had signed a “lifestyle contract” in which she promised not to have premarital sex in order to live up to the Christian moral ideals of the college.

According to James: “I was unmarried, pregnant and they took away my livelihood.”

She told reporters that the school had offered her job to her fiancé, despite the fact that he had engaged in premarital sex as well. This seemed to indicate that there is a double standard between men and women when it comes to sexuality – a charge the many feminists, both inside and outside the church, have made for a long time.

James has decided to sue the school with Gloria Allred as her lawyer, alleging that they deserted her in her hour of need.

The school argues that she signed a two-page contract agreeing not to have premarital sex.. The case highlights the stigma that single mothers and pregnant women often face in Christian churches and organizations. Many Christians support pregnant women in a nonjudgmental way, taking the view that they have no right to judge and also that God forgives. However, stigma still is likely to be a factor in driving many women to get abortions – abortions among Christian women are far from unknown.

A study done in 2011 determined that two thirds of women who have abortions identify themselves as Christians, with Protestants obtaining 37% and Catholics 28%.(1) Another study indicated that one in five  women having abortions called themselves “born again, evangelical” Christians.(2) Common reasons why churchgoing women get  abortions are fear of ostracism lack of support, and shame.

This is not the first time a Christian school has fired a pregnant teacher. In 2012 a Florida woman took her school to court after being fired after revealing her pregnancy. The woman, who was also engaged, offered to move up her wedding date in order to ensure that the baby would be born in wedlock, but the school refused to budge. The judge in this case brought up the fact that another possible reason for her firing was that the school did not want to spend the money hiring a replacement while she was out on maternity leave. The case is now in court, pending resolve.

A Catholic school in Ohio fired teacher Christa Dias, who became pregnant by artificial insemination while employed at the school. The school argued that her actions contradicted Catholic doctrine.

  1. Facts about Induced Abortion in the United States Guttmacher Institute January 2011
  2. “Abortion Common among All Women” Alan Guttmacher Institute https://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/prabort2.html

LifeNews.com Note: Sarah Terzo is a pro-life liberal who runs ClinicQuotes.com, a web site devoted to exposing the abortion industry. She is a member of the pro-life groups PLAGAL and Secular Pro-Life.