When Michelle Lee, 29, walked into her hometown bar in Roselle, Illinois, late last Thursday night she was feeling frumpy, tired and really, really big. Eight months pregnant with her first child, she’d flown into town that day from Denver to attend her baby shower and her friends had talked her into a night out. But her effort at late-night fun lasted a whopping 15 minutes. No sooner than Lee had arrived, a bouncer at the the Coach House Restaurant told her she had to leave; no pregnant women allowed.
“I was stunned,” she said. “He said, ‘If anything happened to you here, we would be responsible.'”
Lee said she was totally humiliated by the incident and agreed to go home without argument. “I thought maybe there was some sort of pregnant woman ordinance.”
But Roselle, Illinois, law enforcement officials said there’s no reason Lee should have been turned away. The town has no regulations barring pregnant women from bars. Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women, said she’d never heard of any businesses allowed to decline service or entrance simply because a woman is pregnant.
“That is not acceptable behavior,” she said, adding that she thought the bouncer should be fired and the Coach House owner sued. “We live in a country where people feel increasingly empowered to make decisions for pregnant woman.”
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