Dealing with the occasional nasty email is a reality of being a public figure, but a newly elected Minnesota state senator is sharing one of hers to highlight an issue facing many new and expectant mothers.
On Saturday, Sen. Julia Coleman, a Republican who began her first term in the state legislature this month, tweeted a message she received from a "very angry woman on Instagram":
"Congratulations on your pregnancy," the message reads. "You lacked transparency and hid this from the voters when you were running. And now instead of working you'll be on parental leave."
Pointing out that she worked "nonstop while pregnant and postpartum" with her first child and that she intends to do the same with her forthcoming twins, Coleman said it's "no one's business if a woman is pregnant, candidate or not, until they are ready to share the news."
"Given the issues I had with my son's pregnancy, I wanted to make sure the baby (surprise, babies!) were safe and healthy," she says of her decision not to broadcast the fact that she was expecting.
"Women deserve better than this," Coleman added. "We are damned if we do and damned if we don't. So do what's best for you and yours Mamas."
Pregnancy discrimination isn't just an issue women face on social media. A 2018 New York Times report found the problem is "rampant" in some of "America's biggest companies."
Despite employers taking steps to make workplaces more welcoming to mothers, the paper says, "these advances haven’t changed a simple fact: Whether women work at Walmart or on Wall Street, getting pregnant is often the moment they are knocked off the professional ladder."
Coleman represents Minnesota's State Senate District 47, which covers an area southwest of Minneapolis and includes Chaska, Chanhassen and Norwood Young America.