Pregnancy Policy: Law and Philosophy

Female officer wearing ballistic vest

Law enforcement today comprises courageous and talented men and women, with women making some special and valuable contributions. Not only have women proven to be as capable as men in performing law enforcement duties, but studies have also shown that women excel at defusing violent situations and demonstrating empathy in stressful situations and that women are less likely to be accused of using excessive force.1

It is critical, then, for the continued success of the profession that law enforcement agencies successfully recruit and retain women to serve as police officers. One important tool in achieving these goals is a favorable policy relating to pregnancy, one that supports parenthood without compromising police operations, without unfairly burdening nonpregnant employees, and without violating antidiscrimination law.