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Do employers have the right to exclude women of childbearing age from certain jobs? For the past three decades, courts in the United States and Britain have wrestled with the question of whether so-called fetal protection policies actually constitute sex discrimination in employment. In the closely followed United Auto Workers v. Johnson Controls case, the United States Supreme Court ruled against a battery manufacturer’s policy of excluding women of childbearing age from certain jobs involving hazardous substances.
“An important and timely book . . . rich in factual details and reflections on their significance in the development of law and policy. It will be an essential resource for scholars and will engage, enlighten, and stimulate other readers who are interested in women’s rights and women’s roles.”
--Joan Bertin, American Civil Liberties Union
“Original . . . there has been no comprehensively systematic treatment of this issue. The book’s thoroughly comparative approach makes it a worthwhile contribution to the general field of comparative political and legal studies.”
--Elizabeth Meehan, The Queen’s University of Belfast
“A highly readable and intelligent feminist critique of one of the most important yet least publicized aspects of women’s reproductive rights. . . . Kenney unmasks the ‘gendered thinking’ behind so-called fetal protection policies and their pseudo-scientific rationales.”
--Rosalind Petchesky, Hunter College
“. . . reveals the problematic nature of both the concept of sex discrimination and the assumptions about equality that are embedded in the laws of both Britain and the United States. . . . Kenney’s book is essential reading for scholars in women’s studies, comparative politics, and legal studies.”
--Susan J. Carroll, Rutgers University
Review Law and Politics Book Review | 10/1/1993