A New York hospital is apparently ending a policy of forcing
employees to participate in abortions -- and a Texas teenager is
hopeful a court will intervene so she won't be forced by her
parents to have an abortion.
Alliance Defending Freedom is representing
Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo, a nurse at Mt. Sinai Hospital who objected
after she was forced to assist in an abortion in 2009 even though
it violates her religious beliefs. ADF filed a lawsuit against the
hospital after DeCarlo was threatened with disciplinary action for
objecting to taking part in future abortions.
ADF attorney Matt Bowman
tells OneNewsNow that pro-life personnel should not be forced to
"The hospital seems to have decided to do the right thing -- to
respect the freedom of conscience of employees -- because these
employees are protected by both federal and state law in their
freedom not to assist abortions," he explains. Bowman adds that Mt.
Sinai had known of DeCarlo's religious objections since 2004.
A newly completed federal Health and Human Services
investigation of the hospital has resulted in additional policy and
procedure changes to provide conscience protections for staff. Mt.
Sinai has agreed to put it in writing and update its Human Resource
policy to reflect the change.
ADF intends to monitor the situation so no Mt. Sinai staff is
placed in a similar position of violating their religious beliefs,
resigning, or facing termination.
Intervention on behalf of Texas teen and her
(Read update below ...)
OneNewsNow has reported many times on the large number of women
-- including underage girls -- who feel they were coerced or
otherwise forced into having abortions. Stephen Casey, chief
counsel for the Texas Center for Defense of Life, says his firm
has been asked to intervene in a Houston case.
"The 16-year-old [girl] is pregnant, and what we're finding is
that the parents were going to force her to have the abortion,"
Casey explains. "They said it was their decision and not hers."
According to the attorney, the girl claims her parents are using
verbal and physical threats and have taken away her phone and
While one might think the parents of a minor have the right to
make the ultimate decision in such a matter, Casey points out that
a 1979 Supreme Court ruling (Bellotti v. Baird) says otherwise.
"That case affirmed the constitutional right of a minor to make
her own reproductive health decisions," he summarizes. "So right
now she has the right to say she wants to carry her child to term,
and that all the coercion and threats -- physical and emotional and
stress --that her family is putting her under are not simply
allowed to come against her; and she has the ability make this
decision to keep her child freely and without threat of emotional
and physical abuse."
The Center for Defense of Life has filed suit asking a court to
intervene and save the baby.
UPDATE: The Texas teen's baby is being spared from
abortion, at least for now, leaving time for her parents to rethink
The Texas Center for Defense of Life took the case to a Houston
court Tuesday with Casey representing the teenager.
"The judge agreed with our assessment that right now, until the
temporary injunction hearing on Friday, that the parents do not
have the right to force this girl to have an abortion against her
will or to physically harm her during that period or drag her to an
abortion clinic," Casey explains.
The purpose of the Friday court date is to seek an injunction
for the duration of the pregnancy. The interim, according to the
attorney, could be a "cooling off period" for the parents and their
"And for the parents and the girl to be on the same page," Casey
continues, "[and agree] that this life needs to be protected, this
new baby who she's carrying; that their relationship needs to be
reconciled; and that they don't need to cause her emotional
trauma and distress for the rest of her life by forcing an abortion
on her and killing her unborn child."