Vanderbilt backtracks on forcing nursing students to assist abortions

As incredible as it seems, Vanderbilt University actually HAD a policy of forcing its nursing students to pledge to assist in abortions that they have since backtracked from.  Note that they have to "pledge" that they will assist, which leads one to believe they didn't have a lot of volunteers otherwise.

Here's their statement that accompanies the pledge:

“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. Procedures performed in the Labor and Delivery unit include…terminations of pregnancy,” it states. “If you feel you cannot provide care to women during this type of event, we encourage you to apply to a different track of the Nurse Residency Program to explore opportunities that may best fit your skills and career goals.”

What makes it even more perverse is that it forced people who wanted to study to save lives to assist in taking them before they could complete studies necessary for their profession.

Of course the university didn't "backtrack" until a complaint was filed by a pro-life legal group.

It turns out that Vandy receives more than $300 million in federal funding every year, and it is against federal law for funding recipients to force health care workers (or those studying the profession) to violate their conscious or religious beliefs by participating in abortions.

From the article:

“Christians and other pro-life members of the medical community shouldn’t be forced to participate in abortions to pursue their profession. That’s what federal law says, and that’s why Vanderbilt is doing the right thing in changing its policy and application,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman in a statement to ...

The nurse residency application the nursing program at Vanderbilt uses clearly requires the abortion pledge, and goes as far as encouraging nursing candidates to pursue other vocational goals if they refuse to participate in abortions. ...

Before abandoning the policy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokesman John Howser told the Tennessean newspaper the guidelines mean nursing students may provide care to women who will seek or may have sought abortions, but don’t have to participate in abortions themselves.

“The letter was added in order to create an awareness that terminations are performed here at Vanderbilt,” Howser said yesterday.  “If you choose to participate (in the nurse residency program), you will be around patients who have had or are seeking terminations, and you may be asked to care for them. It does not say that you are required to participate in performing or in the performance of terminations.”

Note how the spokesman refuses to use the word "abortion".  Now they're just "terminations".  Nice and clinical, huh?


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