Twelve nurses who risked their jobs rather than help with abortions
Our jobs were hanging by a string. We were like, ‘All right. If they’re going to fire all 12 of us, fine. But this is against what we believe God wants us to do.’ We didn’t come into this profession to do [abortions].
Alliance Defending Freedom’s cover story in their latest issue of “Faith & Justice” covered the story of twelve nurses who stood up against a hospital when their faith and ethics were on the line. Here is a part of their story, but I would encourage you to read the entire account, found here.
At the Same Day Surgery Unit at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, there were twelve nurses who worked on a floor who never wanted to help with abortions. Up until September 2011, this hadn’t been a problem. There were some nurses who were willing to help with abortion, so those who respected the lives of the unborn children were never asked to help. This all changed when a nurse received a promotion, becoming a manager on the floor. It was her opinion that everyone should help with abortions. According to Alliance Defending Freedom:
Hospital officials agreed, and passed a new, mandatory policy to make it so. The assistant manager quickly set up a training program that would give each nurse on the unit hands-on experience in how to assist with and clean up after abortions.
“As long as you work here,” she told the 12 nurses who openly protested, “you’re going to have to do it. If you don’t, you’re going to be fired or transferred out.”
It then became twelve nurses against an entire hospital. One of the nurses summed it up this way:
Our jobs were hanging by a string. We were like, ‘All right. If they’re going to fire all 12 of us, fine. But this is against what we believe God wants us to do.’ We didn’t come into this profession to do [abortions]. We told them we weren’t comfortable with it and didn’t feel they should force us. And if that meant our jobs, well… God was going to provide.
Fifteen nurses signed a letter stating that they would not help with abortions. After it was given to the manager, a meeting was called to discuss the issue. Through an act of providence, a pastor heard about the issue and called the president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, who then called Alliance Defending Freedom.
The next morning, twelve of the nurses agreed to have the ADF attorney represent them pro bono. And so they went from a group of nurses with consciences to twelve nurses and an attorney who understood conscience law. A lawsuit was filed, and the hospital threatened to hire other nurses, pushing these twelve nurses out a job. But as the court date came closer, the hospital finally caved. According to the attorney:
We had gotten everything [the 12 nurses] requested. We’d gotten the hospital to agree not to force them to perform these abortions. There would be no retaliatory measures against them, and they could feel free and sleep at night, knowing that the next day they would not have to be trained on the abortion process or help a woman kill an innocent child.
These twelve nurses can now continue their careers while refusing to help with abortions.