Michelle McCusker was interviewed on ABC News last week to talk about losing her job last fall as a preschool teacher at a Catholic school in Queens, NY. Shortly after she was hired, the 26-year old McCusker, who is single, told school officials that she was pregnant. Abortion was out of the question for her — she was going to keep her baby. Two days later, the school fired her for violating the school’s policy that its teachers are required to “convey the faith, to convey the gospel values and Christian traditions of the Catholic faith.â€ Should the school have fired her? I don’t think so. Now, there’s no question that engaging in sex outside of marriage is a serious sin. And it’s obvious why a Catholic school would not want to give the impression that it condones premarital sex. But I don’t think this mother should have been fired. I’m inclined to agree with Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life, who has stated her organization’s support for McCusker in her lawsuit against the school. On the same ABC News report, Foster said, “It is not pro-life to take away the resources and support that women need and deserve to bring children into this world.” McCusker had this to say:
“Here I’m being persecuted because I’m pro-life having my baby, and they fire me for it. I hope that no other woman ever has to go through this. â€¦ It’s been very stressful.”
It comes down to this: McCusker would still have her job if she had quietly had an abortion instead of telling school officials that she was pregnant. By firing her, what message is the school sending to the next teacher who finds herself in McCusker’s situation?