After being challenged by attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund, Vanderbilt University this week backed down on its prejudicial policy that would require nursing residents to participate in performing abortions even if they had an opposition to the act. LifeSite News
reports that “the university made the announcement in an e-mail to applicants one day after the (ADF) had filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services about the policy.” We posted earlier this week
about the initial policy, which said:
“If you are chosen for the Nurse Residency Program in the Women’s Health track, you will be expected to care for women undergoing termination of pregnancy.”
The issue with this application as that it went on to say that applicants unwilling to assist in abortions should apply to other programs. This was a violation of an existing law which the ADF pointed out to
"[That's] a 30-year-old law that says that universities or anyone else who’s hiring nurse residents or residents in the medical profession, hiring medical professionals for training programs cannot discriminate based on a person’s reluctance or unwillingness to perform an abortion or to assist in any way in an abortion."
ADF has plans to monitor this decision and be sure it is followed without requiring students to sign the abortion pledge.
Once again we are looking at a culture that says it values choice but really values only its own choice. A true pro-choice society would allow for inclusion of Christians and their values, as well. As a prestigious university and recognized medical center, Vanderbilt has influence and pull and should not be using it to exert undue pressure on students who want to earn a degree in order to save lives rather than terminate them.
Ultimately, existing law saved potential students from this dilemma. LifeSite also reports that “Vanderbilt receives more than $300 million in federal tax dollars each year. Federal law prohibits grant recipients from forcing students or health care workers to participate in abortions contrary to their religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
Sometimes it might be better to avoid a place altogether, but that should be because of our choice, not because we won’t agree to helping take a baby’s life.