Friday, July 24, 2009

Nurse Sues Hospital Claiming She Was Required To Assist In Abortion Procedure

On Tuesday, a nurse at New York City's Mt. Sinai Hospital filed a lawsuit against the hospital claiming that it violated the Church Amendment, 42 U.S.C. § 300a7(c), when it required her to assist in an abortion performed on a woman who was 22-weeks pregnant. The statute protects medical personnel who have religious or moral objections to participating in abortions from discrimination at facilities that receive federal funds. The complaint (full text) in Cenaon-DeCarlo v. Mt. Sinai Hospital, (ED NY, filed 7/21/2009), alleges that despite her known objections to assisting in abortions, while working on-call she was required to assist in an abortion which she claims was not of an emergency nature. Plaintiff also claims that the hospital has threatened to remove her from on-call shifts if she objects in the future to assisting in abortions. The lawsuit seeks an injunction protecting the conscience rights of plaintiffs and other health care personnel, an order requiring the hospital to disgorge a portion of the federal funds it has received, and damages. Plaintiff also seeks a preliminary injunction. (Memo in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction). Alliance Defense Fund issued a press release announcing the filing of the case.