Vanderbilt Withdraws Abortion Requirement
January 14, 2011
In a quick victory for defenders of life and conscience rights, Vanderbilt University withdrew a recent policy requiring all applicants to its Nurse Residency Program in the Women's Health to pledge to assist in abortions as a condition of acceptance (see page 15 of the application). Matt Bowman and the Alliance Defense Fund filed a complaint on Tuesday, January 11. The next day, January 12, Vanderbilt retracted the policy.
This is a significant victory and highlights the need to have effective remedies under the law to defend conscience rights. Assaults on conscience rights have been increasing around the world, but particularly in secularized Western societies where the culture of death is particularly strong. Pope Benedict XVI has increased the frequency and tenor of his statements responding to these assaults.
Currently, the Department of Health and Human Services is sitting on the Conscience Protection Rule issued in the last days of the Bush administration. Recently, HHS informed a court that it would be issuing guidance pursuant to its March 2009 decision to rescind the Rule. The most likely outcome of action in the near future would be to rescind the Rule in whole or in significant part. CMA calls upon HHS to defend rights of conscience and to act in a transparent manner. People can use the resources of Freedom2Care.org to make their voices heard.