.- Federal judge Jose L. Linares issued a temporary restraining order on Nov. 3 that forbids a New Jersey hospital from forcing 12 nurses to assist with abortions.
âPro-life nurses shouldnât be forced to assist or train in services related to abortions. Federal and state law both prohibit this,â said Alliance Defense Fund attorney Matt Bowman.
The court order, which the hospital agreed to, is in effect until a Nov. 18 hearing.
Despite the upcoming hearing, Bowman called it âdisturbingâ that the hospital âmay fight to continue violating laws that clearly protect conscience rights.â
On Oct. 31, the defense fund filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey on behalf of a dozen nurses, who currently work at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey.
According to Bowman, the hospital violated federal and state law by requiring the nurses to perform abortions against their consciences and threatening to terminate their jobs if they refuse.
âThese 12 nurses have encountered threats to their jobs at this hospital ever since a policy change required them to participate in the abortion cases regardless of their religious and moral objections,â he explained.
Two of the nursesâLorna Mendoza and Julita Chingâwere both scheduled to assist with an abortion on Friday, Nov. 4.
According to the court order, hospital officials âare restrained from requiring the named Plaintiffs from undergoing any training, procedures or performances relating to abortions pending the Courtâs determination on the merits regarding the Plaintiffsâ Application for a Preliminary Injunction.â
The order also prohibits any âemployment discriminationâ against the nurses until the situation is resolved.