A New Jersey lawsuit has revived the debate over the right of health care workers to refuse care to abortion patients, The Washington Post reports.
Twelve nurses filed a federal lawsuit against the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, challenging a policy that requires them to help patients prepare for and recuperate from abortion procedures, The Post reported. The 12 nurses comprise three-quarters of those working in the hospital’s same-day surgery unit.
The hospital argued that it is “in full compliance” with state and federal laws, The Post reported. "No nurse is compelled to have direct involvement in, and/or attendance in the room at the time of, a procedure to which she or he objects based on his/her cultural values, ethics, and/or religious beliefs,” the hospital said in a statement.
In a court brief, the hospital argued that the new policy will save the facility $280,000.
Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., appeared at a news conference alongside the nurses to voice his support for their suit. He said that by requiring nurses to care for abortion patients, the hospital was jeopardizing $60 million in federal funding.