Nurses Sue for Religious Discrimination over Abortion Issue

Twelve New Jersey nurses are suing the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey after the hospital announced new regulations requiring nurses to aid in the care of abortion patients prior to and following their procedure. Although New Jersey has laws in place stating that medical professionals have a right to refuse to perform the procedure, these nurses are refusing in the post and pre-op care of the women in their care, a right the Hospital claims they do not have.

“I’m a nurse so I can help people, not help kill, and it just doesn’t seem right to me,” said Beryl Otieno-Negoje, one of the nurses. “No health professional should be forced to choose between assisting abortion or being penalized at work.”

The Hospital is essentially arguing that the care provided to these patients is the same as the care given to any other patient undergoing surgical care and that the nurses are, of course, not required to assist in the actual procedure in any way. In fact,  the hospital said it would add about $280,000 to the facility’s annual budget if the changes in the nurses’ duties were not permitted. The hospital also charged that the nurses were putting patients undergoing abortions at risk by refusing to care for them even in emergency situations.

“Federal and state law explicitly prohibits requiring nurses to assist in abortion against their moral and religious convictions,” Matt Bowman, the attorney for the nurses said. “All these nurses are asking is that they not have to assist in any part of an abortion case.”

A temporary restraining order was put in place barring the hospital from forcing the nurses to undergo training to care for abortion patients pending the December 5th hearing on the case.

(Source: Washington Post)

Posted in blog Tagged ,