New Jersey Nurses Sue Over Abortion Orders

Monday, 28 Nov 2011 11:12 AM

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A dozen New Jersey nurses filed a federal lawsuit protesting orders that they must care for abortion patients before and after the procedure. The suit against the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey contends that the rule violates their religious and moral convictions and federal law, The Washington Post reported.

The hospital’s policy reversed one that exempted employees who refuse based on religious or moral objections. In a statement, the hospital said that “no nurse is compelled to have direct involvement in, and/or attendance in the room at the time of, a procedure to which she or he objects based on his/her cultural values, ethics and/or religious beliefs,” the Post reported.

“The university is in full compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and is confident its position will be vindicated when the court gives this matter a full hearing.”

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

States, including New Jersey, have laws protecting healthcare workers who object to abortion and federal laws require that any medical facility that receives federal money allow workers to opt out.

Federal Judge Jose Linares has issued a temporary restraining order barring the hospital from requiring the nurses to undergo training to care for abortion patients, the Post reported.

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