Magazine article The New American

Nurse Wins Fight for Beliefs. (Making A Difference)

Magazine article The New American

Nurse Wins Fight for Beliefs. (Making A Difference)

Article excerpt

Cynthia Day of Marrero, Louisiana, is a Public Health Nurse III employed by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH). For nearly a decade she has worked at a state clinic in New Orleans that offers family-planning services.

Day balks at giving "morning-after" pills to women. (Unlike contraceptives intended to prevent pregnancy, "morning-after" pills are designed to destroy human embryos within 72 hours following conception.) She firmly believes that life begins at conception, and that it is sacred. The deadly pills, she points out, are abortifacients that terminate innocent human life.

Day explained her religious convictions to supervisors on numerous occasions. Health officials responded with a letter last September 9th that criticized her stance and threatened to fire her. The missive also asserted that reassignment to a post that would not require violation of her pro-life beliefs was not an option.

Day refused to back down. She sought help from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), an international public interest law firm based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, that specializes in constitutional law and protecting human life. In late October, the ACLJ filed formal complaints against the LDHH with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights, claiming that Day was a victim of illegal employment discrimination based on her deeply held religious convictions.

Even as the complaints were being filed, however, Day received another letter from health authorities. …

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