CVS, Christian nurse fired for refusing to provide abortion drugs reach settlement

A CVS/pharmacy store in Richmond, Virginia.
A CVS/pharmacy store in Richmond, Virginia. | The Christian Post

A Christian nurse practitioner who sued CVS for firing her after she refused to dispense abortion-inducing drugs for religious reasons has reached a settlement with the corporation.

The First Liberty Institute, a conservative law firm based in Plano, Texas, announced Monday that Robyn Strader, CVS Health Corporation and MinuteClinic agreed to a settlement.

“We are thrilled that Robyn was able to reach a resolution with CVS,” said FLI Senior Counsel Stephanie Taub, as quoted in the announcement. “We are hopeful that companies across the country will recognize the religious liberty of their employees and work to protect those rights.”

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The Christian Post reached out to FLI on Monday for more details about the settlement, however a spokesperson declined to provide that information.

Strader worked at a CVS MinuteClinic located in Keller, Texas, from 2015 to 2021, with her employer telling her that she would be exempt from prescribing abortion-inducing drugs.

In August 2021, however, CVS announced that it was mandating that all employees working at its clinics prescribe contraceptives and abortifacients, regardless of any religious objection.

CVS terminated Strader’s employment in October 2021. Strader filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in February 2022, with the EEOC giving her a Notice of Right to Sue last year.

Strader filed suit against CVS in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, arguing that CVS’ policy discriminated against her.

“CVS’s new policy is to deny all such religious accommodations without considering the particular circumstances of the employee requesting the accommodation, including to determine whether that employee could be accommodated without undue hardship,” read the suit.

“It is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for an employer to ‘avoid accommodating a religious practice that it could accommodate without undue hardship’ … Religious accommodation requests must be considered on an individual basis to determine whether the requesting employee can be accommodated.”

CVS defended its decision, with CVS spokesperson Michael DeAngelis telling CBS News in a 2022 statement that his company considers the prescribing of abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives to be “essential.”

“We have a well-defined process in place for employees to request and be granted a reasonable accommodation due to their religious beliefs, which in some cases can be an exemption from performing certain job functions. It is not possible, however, to grant an accommodation that exempts an employee from performing the essential functions of their job,” DeAngelis stated at the time.

“As we continue to enhance our MinuteClinic services, educating and treating patients regarding sexual health matters — including pregnancy prevention, sexually transmitted infection prevention, screening and treatment, and safer sex practices — have become essential job functions of our providers and nurses.”

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