UAW v. Johnson Controls, Inc., recently decided by the United States Supreme Court, has resulted in what one commentator described as "[t]he strongest and most important sex-discrimination victory in nearly 30 years." As a result of the decision, employers can no longer bar women from hazardous jobs through fetal-protection policies, except under the most extreme and narrow circumstances. This legal victory for women in the workplace, however, has seriously impacted the debate over the protection of fetal health and safety. The Supreme Court, in a seemingly encore presentation of Roe, again overlooked the harm facing the unborn child in Johnson Controls as it rejected the employer's fetal-protection policy as sex discrimination within the workplace. In both Johnson Controls and Roe, the Court provided favorable results for the woman at the expense of the fetus. It may well be that the Court, in its attempt to protect the woman, is practicing its own form of discrimination against the fetus.
Note, UAW v. Johnson Controls: The Supreme Court Fails to Get the Lead Out, Overlooks Fetal Harm Resulting from Workplace Exposure, 40 Clev. St. L. Rev. 261 (1992)