Twelve nurses represented by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) have sued a hospital operated by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) for requiring them to participate in abortions.
“Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “No less than 12 nurses have encountered threats to their jobs at this hospital ever since a policy change required them to participate in the abortions regardless of their religious objections. That is flatly illegal.”
Laws exist at both the Federal and State levels that give medical professionals the right to opt out of participation in abortions. The Federal law prohibits medical facilities that receive Federal funding from requiring employees to participate in the procedures—UMDNJ receives about $60 million in said funding each year, money the nurses are asking the court to revoke.
A September policy change at the hospital that requires same-day surgery nurses to participate in surgical abortions has resulted in threats to the jobs of nurses who have protested on grounds of religious belief. Hospital officials reportedly say UMDNJ has “no regard for religious beliefs.” In October, the hospital began training sessions that actually require assistance in surgical abortion for its nursing staff.
ADF attorneys are asking the court to issue an order that stops abortion training sessions while the lawsuit moves forward. If the order is not granted, the nurses will continue to be scheduled one by one to undergo the training and then to assist abortions on a regular basis.
ADF is involved in a similar lawsuit in New York against the Mount Sinai Medical Center, where a Catholic nurse protested required involvement in abortion procedures last year.