Last week, Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo, a New York nurse, filed suit against Mount Sinai Hospital, claiming she was illegally forced to assist with an abortion despite her religious and moral objections. “Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs,” said her lawyer.
Whether one is “pro-choice” or “pro-life,” all people of good will must agree with that sentiment.
This puts renewed pressure on President Obama to clarify the conscience protections regulations he intends to put in place for healthcare workers, having already caused a stir earlier this year when The White House announced its intention to rescind the Bush Administration conscience protection regulations.
But it’s not just nurses and other health care workers who may confront issues of conscience in the workplace.
Irrespective of the notoriety of Nurse DeCarlo’s case or other reports in recent years highlighting incidents in which pharmacists have refused to dispense “morning after” pills or contraceptives, making the corner drugstore a new battleground in the culture wars between right and left, there are many other workplace situations in which people of faith may have to choose between their career and their conscience.
That is why we need Workplace Religious Freedom legislation.
Barack Obama endorsed it during his presidential campaign, and it’s time for it to get moving in Congress.