USA – If You Don’t Want to Provide Abortions, Don’t Go Into Healthcare

If You Don't Want to Provide Abortions, Don't Go Into Healthcare
A Vermont nurse's objection to providing an abortion shows we need to be more discerning about who is worthy of serving the public.

by Monica R. McLemore PhD, MPH, RN
Sep 3 2019

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services defended a registered nurse who claimed that the hospital she worked for violated her conscience by forcing her to assist with an abortion. The complaint, filed in May 2018, alleged that the nurse was a self-identified Catholic, and cites violations of the Church Amendment that protects healthcare workers “from impositions of certain requirements contrary to religious beliefs or moral convictions”—in this case, abortion.

Rule changes in the Department of Health and Human Services and new leadership at the HHS Office of Civil Rights have created a fundamental shift of these agencies from protecting patients to protecting providers.