California Catholic Nurses Don’t Want Pro-Abortion Union Representing Them

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 29, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Catholic Nurses Don’t Want Pro-Abortion Union Representing Them

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 29
, 2008

Fresno, CA ( — Nurses at a Catholic hospital in Fresno have voted against participating in the California Nurses Association because the union takes a pro-abortion position. The close vote came after a heavy lobbying campaign by both pro-life advocates and leaders of the state labor organization.

This is the second time nurses at St. Agnes Medical Center have voted against allowing CNA to represent them after a first vote failed in 1998.

According to a California Catholic Daily report, 94 percent of the 844 registered nurses participated in the vote and pro-life advocates won the day 452-327.

The newspaper indicated CNA leaders were so confident in the outcome of the vote that they purchased and brought a victory cake to have on hand after the expected favorable vote.

Instead, CNA will lose as much as $1 million in potential income from the membership dues all of the nurses would be required to pay to the organization had it approved representation.

Inge Schlegel, one of the nurses opposing the affiliation, told KMPH-TV, “Some of the views of CNA just didn’t gel with the views and philosophy St. Agnes has and that was a huge concern for many of the voters."

Significant opposition to the CNA move came after St. Agnes Hospital chaplain Fr. Henry Williams led a rally and spoke out against affiliation and abortion.

CNA endorses both abortion and partial-birth abortions and, in 2006, supported a measure prohibiting any Internet web site posting of the picture, home address, or telephone number of an abortion practitioner.

Pro-life advocates are concerned the new law could be used to prosecute anyone operating a pro-life web site in California that has such information posted about abortion practitioners or staff of an abortion facility.

The California Pro-Life Council had urged its members to write Governor Schwarzenegger and urge him to veto the bill.

"Sponsored by Planned Parenthood, this bill is supposedly about making the abortion industry safer, however, the bill’s real aim is to silence pro-life advocates by scaring them away by threatening them with costly lawsuits," the pro-life group said at the time.