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Protecting Health Care Workers’ Freedoms

Is silence really golden? How about when a person is forced to keep their thoughts, opinions, and emotions to themselves to complete duties as a nurse or other supportive health care professional?

Such is the situation for nurses these days who are caught between their moral beliefs and their jobs — particularly when it comes to performing abortions.

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One would think that taking a job in a hospital would mean that a nurse is safe from performing an abortion. Abortions happen at clinics, right? Not necessarily. Ask nurse, Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo, an operating room nurse who was on-call and forced to assist in an abortion of a 22-week old fetus.

Even after complaining to the union about her situation, she was requested to sign a document that she would complete any tasks as assigned while on duty — even though she made it clear she did not believe nor support abortion under any circumstance due to her religious convictions.

The hospital also cut her hours which affected her pay and forced her to file a lawsuit. What a situation for a nurse to find herself in when her license is on the line and her constitutionally protected religious convictions are threatened in the workplace.

“Not in my job description” takes on new meaning as health care workers receive constitutional protection from participating in medical procedures that violate their religious beliefs. Back in May, the Trump Administration issued a new rule via Health and Human Services, protects the conscience of individuals who feel that they violate their religious beliefs.

This rule is specifically for nurses, doctors and other health care personnel who fear the loss of their jobs, licenses, and potential liability when on duty when confronted with jobs that require them to assist in abortions.

Here is a sad fact, people who are desperate for money will do things that go against their moral consciences, including staying a job that forces them to perform abortion procedures out of fear. However, things are changing to improve work conditions for medical personnel who don’t take jobs in abortion clinics and are still being asked to perform them.

Office of Civil Rights Director, Roger Severino stated in a written statement about a new rule issued through HHS’s Conscience and Religious initiative. “This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professions won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of a human life.”

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About Aria Gmitter

Aria Gmitter writes about parenting and political matters affecting the family.

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