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Judge prevents New Jersey hospital from forcing nurses to assist abortions

.- 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. 

“Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist or train in services related to abortions. Federal and state law both prohibit this,” 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 “disturbing” that the hospital “may fight to continue violating laws that clearly protect conscience rights.”

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.

“These 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,” he explained.

Two of the nurses—Lorna Mendoza and Julita Ching—were both scheduled to assist with an abortion on Friday, Nov. 4.

According to the court order, hospital officials “are restrained from requiring the named Plaintiffs from undergoing any training, procedures or performances relating to abortions pending the Court’s determination on the merits regarding the Plaintiffs’ Application for a Preliminary Injunction.”

The order also prohibits any “employment discrimination” against the nurses until the situation is resolved.

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