A nurse is suing a hospital that fired her after she refused to administer the “morning after” abortion pill.
Toni Lemly says the St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Louisiana violated the state’s Employment Discrimination Law.
Lemly, represented by the non-profit Alliance Defense Fund, says she had informed hospital supervisory staff that she objected to administering the abortion pill because of her sincerely held religious beliefs.
The hospital responded by firing her from her full-time position and reducing her to part-time status, working only three days a week. The demotion to part-time status caused a substantial reduction in her pay as well as loss of employee benefits.
“This case is about the protection and freedom of conscience,” said ADF attorney Mike Johnson. “The hospital’s refusal to make a reasonable accommodation for Ms. Lemly’s sincerely held religious beliefs and their termination of her full-time job is unlawful.”
Lemly claims she offered a number of reasonable suggestions to the hospital that would enable the facility to continue administering the pill while still allowing her to abstain from dispensing it herself.
“St. Tammany Parish Hospital should have reversed its course and complied with the law. Had they done so, this lawsuit would not be necessary,” Johnson said.
Johnson said Lemly, a nurse of 23 years, “loves her work, and she does not deserve to be discriminated against because of her religious beliefs.”
“All that she asks of the hospital is to respect her freedom in choosing to not participate in the taking of a human life,” said Johnson.
The lawsuit, Lemly v. St. Tammany Parish Hospital District No. 1, was filed in the 22nd Judicial District Court for the Parish of St. Tammany.