Bishop responds to US agency's report of forced abortion participation at the UVM Medical Center
Burlington's Bishop Christopher Coyne is responding after a federal civil rights agency says Vermont's largest hospital required a nurse to participate in an abortion over her moral objections.
Bishop Coyne claims that the Department of Health and Human Services found that the nurse who filed the complaint had expressed an objection for years but that the University of Vermont Medical Center "knowingly scheduled the nurse to assist with an elective abortion procedure."
He says other hospital employees have also been scheduled to assist in abortions despite objections. He hopes UVMMC will respect the "conscience rights of all healthcare personnel."
The Burlington hospital could lose federal funding if an agreement with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cannot be reached.
They have 30 days to reach an agreement.
The civil rights office says the nurse was required to participate in the abortion in May 2017.
The hospital says in a statement that its policies strike the balance between supporting employees' religious, ethical and cultural beliefs, and ensuring "patients are not denied access to safe and legal abortion."
The hospital says it is disappointed by the government's actions.