felt like a horror film unfolding," said Catherina
the Brooklyn nurse who says she was forced to aid an abortion against
her will. Now Cenzon-DeCarlo is speaking out, describing the terror she
felt as she was asked to sacrifice her religious convictions for the
sake of her job.
Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo, a devout Catholic, says she has been having
nightmares and difficulty sleeping ever since the incident took place
on May 24, reports the New York Post.
"I couldn't believe that this could happen," Cenzon-DeCarlo told the
Post, describing how she was threatened with charges of insubordination
and patient abandonment, which could result in possible loss of a job
and nursing license, if she did not participate in the abortion.
Although she was told that it was an emergency and the woman would die
if she did not assist, Cenzon-DeCarlo observed that the woman had not
received the treatments typically given to a patient whose life is in
danger as the hospital claimed it was.
She later found out that the hospital itself had declared the case a
"Category II," meaning that it was not immediately life-threatening,
and that there was a six-hour window for the operation to take place,
allowing ample time for the hospital to find a replacement nurse who
did not have moral objections to the procedure.
"I felt violated and betrayed," Cenzon-DeCarlo said.
The nurse had clearly stated that she was unwilling to aid in abortions
during a job interview with Mount Sinai. She says she had put her
beliefs in writing.
Cenzon-DeCarlo went on to explain that she was later told by two
supervisors that she would need to sign a statement agreeing to
participate in abortions if she wanted any more overtime shifts. Over
the next month, she was designated only one overtime shift, instead of
the eight or nine she was usually assigned, reported the New York Post.
Now, the Alliance Defense Fund is representing Cenzon-DeCarlo in a
lawsuit that seeks to force Mount Sinai to surrender their federal
funding because it has violated a federal rule protecting employees who
morally object to controversial procedures.
The lawsuit also seeks damages on behalf of Cenzon-DeCarlo, as well as
a restoration of her overtime shifts and a respect for her objections
Now, the married mother of a year-old baby hopes the litigation will be
enough to restore protection to her religious convictions. "I emigrated
to this country in the belief that here religious freedom is sacred,"
she said. "Doctors and nurses shouldn't be forced to abandon their
beliefs and participate in abortion in order to keep their jobs."
Date: July 28, 2009
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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in
Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state
coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of
Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our
society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political
persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic
backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has
been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the
human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that
every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is
dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection
for the disabled and the elderly. Click here to learn more about the IFRL.