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Trump Administration Protects Conscience Rights of Vermont Nurse Threatened By Her Employer Unless She Participated In Elective Abortion

Washington, DC – The over 2 million members and supporters of the pro-life, pro-religious freedom Faith & Freedom Coalition praised the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (H.H.S.) for protecting the conscience rights of medical professionals by issuing a “Notice of Violation” against the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMC) which forced a nurse against her stated wishes to take part in an elective abortion.

The H.H.S. Office for Civil Rights issued the notice to UVMC that the hospital’s threats of firing and threats to revoke her nursing license were in direct violation of the Church Amendment (42 U.S.C. 300a-7), a statutory provision that protects health care professionals from being forced to participate in procedures that violate their deeply held religious beliefs. 

“Millions of people of faith across the nation are thankful to the Trump administration for protecting the Constitutional rights of a nurse who, because of her faith, objected to the taking of innocent human life,” said Executive Director Tim Head. “The idea that a state hospital receiving federal tax dollars would threaten the welfare of a health care professional who voiced her objection to participating in an elective abortion is both outrageous and illegal.”

The UVMC nurse who filed the complaint voiced her objection to the hospital staff before the elective procedure. According to the H.H.S. investigation, the physician and staff performing the abortion called her into the operating room under the pretense that she was assisting in helping the mother of a miscarriage, but upon entering the room discovered that she was being told to actively participate in an elective abortion. 

The nurse voiced her moral objection to the procedure, asked to be replaced as is her legal right, and even went so far as to find another nurse willing to replace her in the operating room. Despite this, UVMC threatened to fire her if she didn’t take part in the abortion and later went as far to threaten her licensure as a nurse. After a thorough investigations, both actions were found to violate the Church Amendment by the H.H.S. Office for Civil Rights resulting in today’s announcement that the UVMC is in violation of the law.

“The idea that a public hospital would force a nurse to take part in an elective abortion procedure against her will and although she went out of her way to find another provider to take her place is both despicable and an affront to all Americans who respect religious liberty.”

The “Notice of Violation” of the Church Amendment issued today could potentially lead to the removal of UVMC from H.H.S. funding mechanisms unless the hospital changes its policy and adheres to the law.

This Trump Administration action against the University of Vermont Medical Center is part of the administration’s effort to protect healthcare providers, individuals, and other faith-based health care entities from having to provide, participate in, pay for, or refer for services which violate their religious conscience. 





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