Christian Group Sues Vanderbilt Over Abortion Training for Nurses

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A Christian group is suing Vanderbilt, claiming the school requires nursing students to agree to participate in abortions. The Alliance Defense Fund complaint centers on the university's application for its women's health track, which requires applicants to sign an acknowledgment they could provide care for women ending their pregnancies and should be able to "provide compassionate care" to them. The group says that's a violation of the Church amendment, which says organizations that get federal dollars can't discriminate against applicants who won't participate in abortions for moral reasons.

But Vanderbilt denies the claim. It says the school is just informing students that they might have to care for women who've had (or want) this medical procedure, not a requiring them to participate in one, the Student Free Press's Kyle Blaine reports. Here's how the Alliance Defense Fund's lawyer, Mathew S. Bowman, argues the position:

Vanderbilt University assumed a public trust when it received what now amounts to billions in federal health dollars. Its blatant discrimination against nurses who wish to practice in labor and delivery or obstetrical and gynecological care is exactly the kind of insidious behavior the Church amendment was written to prevent 30 years ago. If the Church amendment is not enforced, pregnant women patients who value their babies will be deprived of access to nurses who share their value for life, because no such nurses will be able to graduate, be hired and licensed, and pursue careers.

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