13 Apr Religious Doctors and Hospitals Safe for Now
With all the talk of equality and who can use what bathrooms and who has to give service to certain people and who can deny service to an entire state and whose conscience matters or whether the state or the federal government determine what people can publicly think or believe and who has control over it all, it seems like we are constantly in a whole mess of words, confusion, and contention. And of course as things progress many people wonder if they will have to adjust what they think, say, and believe in order to keep their job. They may wonder if they got it wrong. And then, on a rare occasion, a court will rule in favor of thought, belief, and conscience even in the work place. That happened this week.
On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division threw out a lawsuit filed by the ACLU claiming that Trinity Health Corporation, which runs 90 Catholic hospitals in 21 states, causes harm by not offering abortion services and by not requiring doctors and nurses to perform abortions.
The court called the ACLU’s claim that Trinity Health Corporation is causing harm by not preforming abortions “dubious”. They further stated that, “Obviously, pregnancy alone is not a ‘particular condition’ that requires the termination of said pregnancy. To find the claim to be ripe for review on the facts pleaded before this Court would be to grant a cause of action to every pregnant woman in the state of Michigan upon the date of conception. Accordingly, the alleged harm has not risen beyond a speculative nature and is not ripe for review.”
ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot claimed that, “no law requires religious hospitals and medical personnel to commit abortions against their faith and conscience, and, in fact, federal law directly prohibits the government from engaging in any such coercion.”
We surely are in a war of words and in a war that will decide who will get to speak and act according to their conscience and who will not. At this time, it is nice to know that a federal court continues to hold the rights of hospitals to choose which procedures they will offer and whether or not doctors and nurses will be required to participate in procedures that offend their religious conscience. For now, doctors and nurses who do not believe in abortions can rest easy about whether or not the government will force them to leave their profession or conduct abortions.