A federal judge Thursday issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting a New Jersey hospital from forcing any of the 12 nurses that sued the facility from participating in abortion training or procedures. The order is in effect until the court is scheduled to hear the case Nov. 18.
The Alliance Defense Fund filed the suit Monday on behalf of the 12 nurses against the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to stop the hospital from requiring the nurses to participate in any activity related to abortion, including training or assisting in the procedures.
“The hospital has been relentless in demanding that these nurses participate in abortion procedures,” Alliance Defense Fund attorney Matt Bowman told The Christian Post. “It’s indisputable that the hospital is seeking to break both federal and state laws. The sole purpose of passing laws was to protect people after Roe v. Wade became the law of the land.”
Current federal law prohibits hospitals that receive certain federal funds from mandating that employees participate in abortions. UMDNJ receives about $60 million in federal health funds annually.
In addition, New Jersey law states, “No person shall be required to perform or assist in the performance of an abortion of sterilization.”
“Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist or train in services related to abortions,” said Bowman. Federal and state laws both prohibit this. These 12 nurses have encountered threats to their jobs at this hospital ever since a policy change required them to participate in the abortion cases regardless of their religious and moral objections.”
According to the order issued by the court, hospital officials “are restrained from requiring the named Plaintiffs from undergoing any training, procedures or performances relating to abortions pending the Court’s determination on the merits regarding the Plaintiffs’ Application for a Preliminary Injunction.” Additionally, the order prohibits any acts of employment discrimination against the nurses until the matter is resolved.
As a result of a policy change in September, UMDNJ officials began telling nurses in the Same Day Surgery Unit that they must assist in abortion cases and implemented the policy in October. The nurses alleged in their complaint that they were threatened with termination if they did not comply with the new policy.
When one of the 12 nurses objected to assisting with an abortion procedure, a supervisor told her that the hospital has “no regard for religious beliefs” of the nurses who objected to the request.
The Christian Post attempted to contact the hospital, but no response was received prior to publication.