Pregnancy as a Disability? Khan v. Midwestern University

The facts (combined from both decisions)

Ayesha Khan enrolled as a medical student at Midwestern University in fall 2010. 3.5 years into the program, in early 2013, Ms. Khan became pregnant. Like many women, Ms. Khan suffered from physical ailments during her pregnancy, including

  • Fatigue,
  • Nausea,
  • Gestational diabetes, and
  • Clinical depression and anxiety disorder (due to pregnancy and other personal circumstances).

Ms. Khan asked the University and her professors for accommodations—specifically, adjustments to her class schedule, rotations, and exams. She provided a letter from her doctor, who stated that Ms. Khan “was unable to fulfill the academic responsibilities due to her medical issues.” The University agreed too many of the requested accommodations and, in the middle of the semester, Ms. Khan took a two-week medical leave before returning to her coursework.

Yet, Ms. Khan alleges, not all of her accommodations were granted. In particular, she alleges that her Pharmacology professor responded to her request by criticizing her for being “too busy making babies” and implying that she could not pass his class because being pregnant was a full-time job that required her to stay home and play mommy. At the time of their conversation, Ms. Khan had failed seven out of nine exams and was, in fact, failing the course. Indeed, the professor denies that the two spoke about anything other than her academic performance and the target grades Ms. Khan needed to pass the course.

read more ……..



Title IX and Breastfeeding

A hot topic again. Please see these articles:

They Can Pump Up the Volume but Can They Pump Out Their Milk? Public Secondary Schools Should be
Required to Accommodate Lactating Students by KIMBERLY JACOBSEN

The Next Generation of Title IX: Pregnant and Parenting Students

Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students


Dear Colleague Letter and Pamphlet on Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX

OCR just released a Dear Colleague letter and accompanying pamphlet on “Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students Under Title IX. This pamphlet, which will be sent to schools across the country, updates a 1991 pamphlet on this topic. The link to the Dear Colleague Letter and pamphlet is here.



Listening to Latinas: Barriers to High School Graduation


Listening to Latinas: Barriers to High School


from the National Women’s Law Center

To help keep girls in school and on track for success, the National Women’s Law Center and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund went straight to the source: Latina students and the adults who work with them every day. Our new report, Listening to Latinas: Barriers to High School Graduation, explores the causes of the dropout crisis for Latinas and identifies the actions needed to improve their graduation rates and get them ready for college.

Latinas are dropping out of school in alarming numbers. Forty-one percent of Latina students do not graduate with their class in four years-if they graduate at all. Many Latina students face challenges related to poverty, immigration status, limited English proficiency, and damaging gender and ethnic stereotypes. And the high teen pregnancy rate for Latinas – the highest of any ethnic group – reflects and reinforces the barriers they face.

Download the Report:

Conference Call:

For Schools:

For State and Local Policymakers:

For Federal Policymakers:

Take Action:

Learn More about Dropout Prevention

Every year, an estimated one in four girls drops out of high school – and the rates are even worse for girls of color. Female dropouts face particularly steep economic consequences. As compared to their male peers, female dropouts have higher rates of unemployment, earn significantly lower wages, and are more likely to need to rely on public support programs to provide for their families.

Learn More about Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Students

One-quarter to one-third of female dropouts say that pregnancy or becoming a parent played a role in their decision to leave school. Providing better support for pregnant and parenting students; together with implementing effective pregnancy prevention measures; are critical steps for schools to take in their efforts to reduce those dropout rates.


Title IX Protections for Pregnant and Parenting Students: A Guide for Schools

June 14, 2009

This fact sheet provides a quick guide to schools for understanding how Title IX protects the rights of pregnant and parenting students by addressing many of the most frequently asked questions educators have about how to treat students who might be, are or have ever been pregnant.


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