A University of Canterbury gender researcher has claimed that airlines are discriminating against women by imposing a ban on pregnant women who are close to their due date and has also questioned whether such a ban is legally possible.
Associate Professor Annick Masselot revealed that pregnant women are banned on majority of airlines if they are past a specific deadline in their pregnancy, usually between 28 to 37 weeks. While airlines claim that such a ban is for the safety of the expectant mothers, Masselot said that there is no medical or scientific research that backs the ban.
She said that the ban was placed simply to avoid the inconvenience of dealing with a woman who goes into labor when in a flight, adding that if passengers with heart troubles and high blood pressure are allowed to fly, then pregnant women should also be allowed without facing any bans.
"Airlines justify their self-declared regulation on grounds of health and safety but, in reality, there is no clear medical or scientific research backing the need to ban pregnant women from flights. It is arguably a form of control over women in order to limit the potential inconvenience of dealing with a woman going into labor in a plane", she said.