This is the latest installment of our year-end victories series looking back at some of the numerous victories by the ACLJ in 2019.
This year, we scored a tremendous victory for the conscience rights of pro-life medical professionals, when we defended a pro-life nurse forced to assist in an abortion against her beliefs.
The ACLJ filed a complaint on behalf of a Vermont OR nurse who was misled and pressured by hospital superiors into participating in an abortion procedure against her deeply held religious beliefs.
Federal law protects the rights of pro-life doctors and nurses from being forced to participate in abortions for fear of losing their jobs.
Our client’s name was on a list of nurses who, for religious or moral reasons, were conscientiously opposed to such participation. In this instance other non-objecting nurses were available who could easily have taken her place.
However, her superiors deliberately misled our client into thinking she was assisting in a procedure following a miscarriage. But it was, in fact, an elective abortion and her superiors refused to excuse her.
To say that she was emotionally traumatized by this event is putting it mildly.
HHS agreed that her employer had violated the federal Church Amendment – aka “conscience clause” – which prohibits entities that receive federal funding from discriminating against employees who refuse to perform or assist in abortions because of their moral or religious beliefs.
The hospital was ordered to formally ensure that what happened to our client will never happen again, at the risk of losing their federal funding.
Pro-life healthcare workers should not have to choose between their job and participating in a procedure that violates their moral convictions.
In addition, earlier this year, we also formally supported a new rule by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) designed to enforce federal statutory rights of conscience and protect medical professionals.
Thanks to the new HHS rule, the federal government has given pro-life medical professionals like our client a legal voice to say no without risking their livelihood.
To help the ACLJ continue to have the resources we need to make these pro-life victories possible, please consider making a Tax-Deductible donation to the ACLJ through our year-end Matching Challenge. Your gift will be DOUBLED dollar-for-dollar through the end of the year.
You can read more in the ACLJ’s 2019 Victories Series here.
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