Harmful Attack on Freedom of Conscience; Congress Should Defend Medical Staff Forced to Perform Abortions

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 14, 2011 | Go to article overview

Harmful Attack on Freedom of Conscience; Congress Should Defend Medical Staff Forced to Perform Abortions


Byline: Chris Gacek, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Obama administration recently gutted conscience regulations for medical professionals. Issued by the Bush admin- istration, they were intended to ensure, in part, that health workers would not have to help perform abortions if they objected to doing so. Unfortunately, even with the Bush rules in place, such moral objections were ignored.

Now, it probably will be easier for the federal government to ignore complaints filed by those who have been compelled to violate their moral principles and assist in the performance of abortions.

Consider, for example, the 2004 case of operating room nurse Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo. Ms. DeCarlo signed papers informing her employer, Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, that she was not willing to help perform abortions. Yet, on May 24, 2009, the hospital compelled Ms. DeCarlo to participate in the abortion of a 22-week-old unborn baby, which was not prompted by any medical emergency.

Ms. DeCarlo sued Mount Sinai, understandably claiming that being compelled to assist in the abortion caused her severe emotional distress. In part, she relied on the Church Amendments, federal laws enacted in the 1970s that were designed to protect conscience rights. Ms. DeCarlo's attorneys argued that she was protected by one of these provisions, 42 U.S.C. Section 300a-7(c), which prohibits organizations receiving federal money under certain statutes from discriminating against health care practitioners who are unwilling to perform abortions or sterilizations.

In December 2010, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that this Church provision did not contain a right for her to use the federal courts to redress her grievance against Mount Sinai. In other words, only the federal government itself could enforce the statute. Ms. DeCarlo is not appealing that decision.

Happily, the story does not end there. Our new pro-life House of Representatives is interested in the case and, more generally, in the conscience rights of pro-life health care providers. It is using its oversight powers to examine why Ms. DeCarlo's rights were trampled by Mount Sinai, with seemingly no response to date from the federal government.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Harmful Attack on Freedom of Conscience; Congress Should Defend Medical Staff Forced to Perform Abortions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.