Court: New Jersey nurses don’t have to assist with abortions

posted at 4:45 pm on December 23, 2011 by Tina Korbe

A federal court upheld the religious liberty of the 12 New Jersey hospital nurses who had been instructed to assist with abortions or potentially lose their jobs. LifeNews.com reports:

Under an agreement UMDNJ agreed to the nurses can remain in their current positions and not be pressured to assist in any part of an abortion procedure. The nurses are only required to help if a life-threatening emergency materializes with the mother involved in the abortion and no other non-objecting staff are available to assist and only until such a time as other can be called up on to relive them.

Fe Esperanza Racpan Vinoya, one of the plaintiffs in the case, told AP she was delighted by the decision but nurse Racpan Vinoya said she was still concerned the hospital would retaliate against her by transferring her or cutting hours.

“I’m still scared about the part of them having four nurses brought in and we might become the surpluses,” Racpan Vinoya said.

A spokesperson for the ACLU predictably expressed outrage that the court would allow the nurses to “discriminate” against patients who want to abort and suggested that the 12 pro-life nurses wanted to deny care to patients in need of it.

But as New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith put it, “UMDNJ argues that sometimes so-called safe, elective abortions put women in life-threatening situations.  When an abortion threatens to take the life of both the baby and the mom, the pro-life nurses have always been willing to step in, if needed, to preserve the life of the mother until the emergency code team arrives.”

Precisely. To suggest otherwise is to be just as disingenuous as Nancy Pelosi when she suggested that Republicans “want” women to “die on the floor.”

This is less a question of abortion rights or wrongs as it is a question of religious liberty and conscience rights. It’s encouraging to see a federal court recognize that and take a stand for religious freedom.


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