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Nurse sues, claims coercion in abortion

NEW YORK (BP)–A pro-life nurse has sued Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, saying hospital officials coerced her to participate in a late-term abortion.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a lawsuit July 20 in federal court on behalf of Catherine Cenzon-DeCarlo, who alleged she was coerced to assist in the abortion of a 22-week-old unborn child in May. A Roman Catholic, Cenzon-DeCarlo said the hospital has been aware of her religious objections to abortion since 2004.

Hospital officials told the senior nurse she would be charged with “insubordination and patient abandonment” and would face discipline, possibly including the loss of her job and/or nursing license, according to ADF.

Cenzon-DeCarlo said her immediate help was not required, because the woman who underwent the abortion was not in crisis.

“Requiring a devout, Catholic nurse to participate in a late-term abortion in order to remain employed is illegal, unethical and violates her rights of conscience,” ADF legal counsel Matt Bowman said in a written release. “Federal law requires that employers who receive funding from tax dollars must not compel employees to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs, but this nurse’s objections fell on deaf ears.

“Chasing away workers from the health care field is disastrous health care policy.”
Tom Strode is Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.