This thoughtful book grapples with the contentious issue of fetal protection policy in the workplace, contrasting the right of the mother to control her life against the right of the fetus to occupy a risk-free environment.
By describing the history of sex discrimination in the American workplace and examining current research on workplace dangers to reproductive health, Blank critically assesses fetal protection policies established by corporations in the last two decades. After explaining the U.S. government's response--both regulatory and judicial--Blank concludes that current means of redress for fetal injuries in the workplace are woefully inadequate.
Blank argues for a practicable strategy that will maximize women's employment choices and reproductive health and at the same time keep to a minimum the risks associated with fetal harm. He turns to alternatives to exclusionary policies that are more likely to ensure the birth of children with sound minds and bodies. These include increased maternal leaves, guaranteed prenatal care, expanded research on workplace hazards, and an accidental compensation fund that relieves employers of the yet unrealized fear of liability for fetal harm.
Fetal Protection in the Workplace confronts a controversial topic in biomedical policy, law, and women's studies, provides clear suggestions for future policy options, and explains this ongoing conflict involving women's rights and employment and concern for the needs of the unborn.
Blank does an admirable job balancing the rights of women with the necessity of providing adequate protection for the unborn from legitimate workplace hazards. Particularly impressive is the compilation of medical and legal data along with the analysis of fetal protection policy to this point in America. While the range of solutions suggested... are sure to spur debate, they present reasonable alternatives to presently flawed policies. -- Joseph Losco, Ball State University