Washington D.C., Aug 28, 2019 / 10:00 am
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Wednesday it has put the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC) on notice after several nurses there reported being forced to help with abortions against their moral objections.
"In a country with many contentious issues, we do not want a society where, on the issue of life and death, people are forced to violate their deepest-held beliefs about it," Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, stated to reporters on Aug 28.
"Our investigation has uncovered serious discrimination by UVMMC against nurses and staff who cannot, in good conscience, assist in elective abortions," Severino said in a written statement provided by HHS. "We stand ready to assist UVMMC in changing its policies and procedures to respect conscience rights and remedy the effects of its discrimination."
The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a Notice of Violation to the University of Vermont Medical Center, after it found that a nurse was forced to participate in abortions as a matter of the hospital's official policy; the federal agency says it has already investigated and attempted to "resolve the matter" but the hospital has not yet cooperated.