UPDATE: A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing a New Jersey hospital from forcing a dozen nurses to assist in training or services related to abortions, according to attorneys representing the nurses.
The order was against the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey is in effect until a Nov. 18th court hearing.
“Pro-life nurses shouldn’t be forced to assist or train in services related to abortions,” Alliance Defense Fund attorney Matthew Bowman wrote in a statement. “These 12 nurses have encountered threats to their jobs at this hospital ever since a policy chnage required them to participate in the abortion cases regardless of their religious or moral objections.”
Following, is our original story on the nurses:
Lorna Jose Mendoza has been given a choice. She can either assist in an abortion this week at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, or she could refuse and risk losing her job.
Mendoza is one of a dozen nurses who filed suit today against the hospital – accusing them of violating federal and state law by forcing them to assist in abortions against their religious and moral objections.
“The hospital told the nurses they have no regard for their religious beliefs,” said Matthew Bowman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund. “They were going to be assigned these abortions or they would be terminated.”
Bowman said the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, on behalf of the nurses who “possess strongly held religious and moral beliefs that she may not participate in the process of an abortion that causes the death of a preborn child.”
A spokesman for the hospital told Fox News they were not aware of the lawsuit and would not be able to provide comment.
Bowman told Fox News that the hospital had been performing abortions for decades without forcing nurses to violate their religious beliefs. But that changed a few weeks ago.
“The hospital passed a policy and put one of the nurses who did abortions in a supervisory position and started forcing nurses to assist in abortions out of the blue,” Bowman said. “It’s in complete violation of federal and state law – that says you can’t force people to assist abortions.”
Bowman said hospital officials agreed to meet with the nurses to discuss the matter, but when the nurses arrived with an attorney the meeting was abruptly cancelled.
“The hospital told the nurses they have no regard for their religious beliefs,” he said. “They were going to be assigned to these abortions or they would be terminated.”
Bowman said the hospital has displayed “an extreme level of arrogance” and is calling on the court to pull the plug of $60 million in federal funding until the hospital agrees to stop forcing nurses to assist in abortions.