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Fox News host sparks backlash for saying he doesn’t ‘know why you’d give’ a pregnant woman an ‘important’ job

By Meredith Clark
Getty Images

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade said he doesn’t know why a person would give a pregnant woman an “important” job.

On Thursday morning, the “Fox & Friends” host discussed the creation of a new advisory board to the Department of Homeland Security, which was announced last week. According to the department, the board will focus on coordinating the DHS response to the spread of “disinformation threats” spread by foreign states.

Nina Jankowicz – the author of How to Be a Woman Online, a media commentator on disinformation, and a communications advisor to the Ukrainian government – was appointed to lead the board. She is also eight months pregnant, much to the confusion of Kilmeade.

“I’m not sure how you get a job and then you just, you can’t do a job for three months,” he said during the broadcast. “I’m not faulting her, but I don’t know why you would give someone a job that you think is so important.”

Kilmeade, who is a father of three, received pushback from his co-host Ainsley Earhardt when she asked, “How long has she had this job?”

“About two months, it looks like,” Kilmeade replied.

“Well, I’ll defend her on that one, Brian,” Earhardt said. “She has the right to have a baby and have maternity leave.”

This is not the first time Kilmeade has criticised Jankowicz’s appointment to the advisory board by attacking her pregnancy.

Fox News host questions ‘why you’d give’ a pregnant woman an ‘important’ job

On 29 April, the Fox & Friends co-host discussed Jankowicz’s appointment to the advisory board, saying: “By the way, she’s eight months pregnant.”

“If you’re going to take over a brand new bureau, shouldn’t you not need maternity leave the first few weeks in?” Kilmeade asked. “Just saying.”

Kilmeade’s recent comments come after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion showed that the court’s conservative majority voted to overturn Roe v Wade, a ruling that legalised abortion nationwide nearly 50 years ago. Critics called out Kilmeade for his comments online and used the opportunity to raise awareness towards abortion rights in the US.

“@kilmeade So you don’t want pregnant women to have jobs, but you also believe in forcing them to carry unwanted pregnancies. This is exactly the problem with denying people the right to choose,” one person tweeted.

“Today’s gem. Brian Kilmeade said he didn’t ‘know why you’d give’ a pregnant woman an ‘important’ job,” said someone else. “Ladies, if you think you aren’t under attack in the US, you’d best start paying attention.”

The Supreme Court is not expected to make a final decision on the fate of Roe v Wade until late June or July. If the ruling goes forward and Roe v Wade is overturned, the law to access abortion will be left to individual states’ discretion.

Many conservatives and Republicans have voiced their support for overturning Roe v Wade. On Thursday, a Fox Business Network correspondent said that women concerned that their abortion rights will be stripped should move to states where the practice is allowed.

Earlier this week, Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren accused Democrats of leaking an alleged “first draft” of the opinion ruling as an “intimidation tactic” towards an upcoming “insurrection” to block the Roe v Wade ruling.

The Independent has contacted Fox News for comment.

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