Two female Washington D.C. police officers recently revealed that when they became pregnant as cadets, their superiors told them they had to have an abortion or be fired.
Chanel Dickerson, assistant chief of the Metropolitan Police Department Youth and Family Engagement Bureau, told a community gathering at Unity Baptist Church of D.C. that she would have been fired from the MPD cadet program if she didn’t terminate her pregnancy.
“When I was 18 years old, as a police cadet, I was told I had to have an abortion or be fired from the MPD cadet program,” Dickerson said last Tuesday, according to Fox 5 D.C. “Wow. My choice to have a baby was personal, and it should’ve been mine alone and not ... with an employer ultimatum.”
A day after the report about Dickerson was published, Fox 5 broadcasted an interview with officer Karen Arikpo who also alleged that getting an abortion was a requirement for pregnant police cadets.
Detailing her own experience, Arikpo recalled how a female sergeant in the police academy told the cadets: “If we were pregnant, we need to get an abortion or we would be fired.”
Arikipo, who at the time was pregnant, complied with the sergeant’s orders and got an abortion — a decision she regrets to this day.
“I’ve never been able to have a kid,” she lamented.
If she could go back in time, Arikpo asserted that she would have had the baby instead of continuing at the police academy: “I did this for a job. ... And then to want kids and can’t have them. How do you tell people that?”
According to The Christian Post, Dickerson is one of 10 African American female police officers suing the MPD claiming discrimination for $100 million on the basis of race and gender. The plaintiffs are also suing an order stating that “the MPD’s employment policies, practices and procedures towards Black women police officers constitute unlawful discrimination and retaliation.”
Additionally, the suit alleges that the MPD’s Equal Employment Office, which is supposed to handle discriminatory problems within the department, is led by a man who “has repeatedly expressed hostility to women officers, and who colludes with management to crush Black women who complain about race and gender discrimination and sexual harassment.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Motortion
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.