New York Nurse Speaks Out About Hospital That Forced Abortion Participation
by Steven Ertelt
July 28, 2009
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — A nurse in New York City who Mount Sinai Hospital forced to participate in an abortion is speaking out about her ordeal. As LifeNews.com first reported, Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a lawsuit last week for Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo who says she told the hospital about her objections.
Since 2004, officials at Mount Sinai Hospital knew that Cenzon-DeCarlo had deeply-felt pro-life views and would not consent to assisting in an abortion.
That didn’t stop hospital officials from threatening her with disciplinary measures if she did not honor a last-minute summons to assist in a scheduled late-term abortion.
It felt like a horror film unfolding," Cenzon-DeCarlo told the New York Post today about having to participate in an abortion against her wishes. "I couldn’t believe that this could happen."
She told the newspaper she has been having nightmares and trouble sleeping ever since the May 24 incident.
"I felt violated and betrayed," Cenzon-DeCarlo said about how officials at the hospital treated her after knowing her faith and values.
Now, she hopes the lawsuit will be sufficient to restore protection for her religious and moral views about abortion in the workplace.
"I emigrated to this country in the belief that here religious freedom is sacred," she said. "Doctors and nurses shouldn’t be forced to abandon their beliefs and participate in abortion in order to keep their jobs."
Despite the fact that the patient was not in crisis at the time of the surgery, the hospital insisted on her participation in the procedure on the grounds that it was an emergency."
Federal laws prohibit hospitals that receive federal funds from forcing employees to participate in abortion procedures under any circumstances but that apparently didn’t stop Mount Sinai Hospital from asking Cenzon-DeCarlo to join in the abortion of the 22-week-old unborn child.
ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman talked with LifeNews.com last week about the case.
Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist in abortions against their beliefs, he said. Requiring a devout, Catholic nurse to participate in a late-term abortion in order to remain employed is illegal, unethical, and violates her rights of conscience."
"Federal law requires that employers who receive funding from tax dollars must not compel employees to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs, but this nurses objections fell on deaf ears," Bowman added.
Chasing away workers from the health care field is disastrous health care policy, Bowman continued. An individuals conscience is likely what brought them to the health care field. Denying or coercing their conscience will likely drive them right out.
According to the lawsuit, the abortion was not an emergency situation.
Category I is the classification reserved for patients requiring immediate surgical intervention for life or limb threatening conditions," but the abortion in this case was classified as a Category II." That is a determination for surgeries needing to take place within six hours.
ADF says that means the hospital had no reason to insist upon Cenzon-DeCarlos assistance in the abortion in order to protect the patient.
Bowman said plenty of time existed to find a different nurse to assist, especially since evidence indicates that the patients condition did not rise even to a Category II. The lawsuit adds that Cenzon-DeCarlo observed no indications that the abortion was a medical emergency while in the operating room.
ADF attorneys filed the complaint in Cenzon-DeCarlo v. The Mount Sinai Hospital with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
They are also requesting a preliminary injunction that would order the hospital to honor Cenzon-DeCarlos religious objection against assisting in abortion and refrain from retaliation against her while the case moves forward.
Related web sites:
Alliance Defense Fund – https://www.telladf.org
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