CASEDanquah v. University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Client Story
12 New Jersey Nurses

After she was coerced into having an abortion soon after she immigrated to the US, Fe Esperanza Racpan Vinoya understands all too well the guilt and pain the women who come to the surgery center for elective abortions face. But after years of working as a nurse, she never imagined that her hospital would force her to choose between taking the life of an unborn child, and losing her job.

Though the nurses at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s Same Day Surgery Unit are a diverse group, the majority have two things in common: a commitment to their faith, and a commitment to protecting life.

But after a nurse was promoted from the special team that performed abortions, a new mandatory policy went into effect announcing that all nurses in the Same Day surgery unit were required to assist with abortions. The assistant manager quickly set up a training program that would give each nurse hands-on experience in how to assist with and clean up after abortions.

"As long as you work here," their manager told the 12 nurses who openly protested, "you're going to have to do it. If you don't, you're going to be fired or transferred out."

Through her pastor, Fe got in touch with Alliance Defending Freedom. On very short notice, allied attorney Demetrious Stratis came with the nurses to a meeting the hospital administration had called with the labor board, a union official, the managers, and "an expert on ethics." The hospital wasn’t prepared for the nurses to fight back. Once they knew the nurses had a lawyer, they canceled the meeting.

The attorneys made it clear to the hospital officials that their new policy transgressed both state and federal laws that make it illegal to compel medical professionals to violate their conscience by forcing them to help with a non-emergency abortion. The hospital risked losing more than $60 million in federal funding. Still, administrators stubbornly contended that all abortions in the Same Day Surgery area – each scheduled weeks in advance – were "emergencies,” and the nurses were required to assist in emergencies. Since they wouldn’t budge, the attorneys filed suit against the hospital.

Meanwhile, their managers forced three of the nurses to go through the hands-on abortion training. But the attorneys obtained a court order preventing them from forcing any more to participate while the case went forward.

Days before the court date, the judge announced that a settlement had been reached. In a victory for the nurses and Alliance Defending Freedom, the hospital agreed not to force the women to participate in abortions, or to retaliate against them by replacing them.

Learn more about the sanctity of human life


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Summary
As a result of a federal court hearing, a New Jersey hospital has agreed that it will not force nurses to assist with abortion cases. Alliance Defense Fund attorneys represent 12 nurses who filed suit against the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey after the hospital sought to require the nurses to help with abortion cases in violation of federal and state law.
News Releases

Victory for pro-life nurses in lawsuit against NJ hospital

Sanctity of Life

Victory for pro-life nurses in lawsuit against NJ hospital

UMDNJ agrees not to force nurses to assist with abortion cases

Dec 23, 2011 Read More

Will NJ hospital be allowed to continue forcing nurses to help with abortions?

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Will NJ hospital be allowed to continue forcing nurses to help with abortions?

ADF attorney available for media interviews following hearing in federal court Thursday

Dec 21, 2011 Read More

NJ hospital threatens employment discrimination against pro-life nurses despite court order

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NJ hospital threatens employment discrimination against pro-life nurses despite court order

Flagrant actions of hospital force ADF attorneys back to court

Nov 21, 2011 Read More

Press conference Monday featuring NJ nurses forced to help with abortions

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Press conference Monday featuring NJ nurses forced to help with abortions

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, ADF attorneys will also speak

Nov 14, 2011 Read More

Court temporarily stops NJ hospital from forcing nurses to participate in abortions

Sanctity of Life

Court temporarily stops NJ hospital from forcing nurses to participate in abortions

ADF represents nurses in lawsuit against Univ. of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ

Nov 03, 2011 Read More

12 nurses sue NJ hospital for forcing them to participate in abortions

Sanctity of Life

12 nurses sue NJ hospital for forcing them to participate in abortions

ADF represents nurses in lawsuit against Univ. of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ

Nov 01, 2011 Read More
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Documents
https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/danquah-v.-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey/danquah-v-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey---transcript-of-proceedings-from-12-22-2011-hearing.pdf?sfvrsn=29af80cb_4https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/danquah-v.-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey/danquah-v-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey---reply-in-support-of-nurses-application-for-preliminary-injunction.pdf?sfvrsn=beec89be_4https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/danquah-v.-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey/danquah-v-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey---umdnj-brief-opposing-preliminary-injunction.pdf?sfvrsn=7cbd9b24_4https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/danquah-v.-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey/danquah-v-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey---motion-and-brief-for-emergency-order.pdf?sfvrsn=2e51aaff_4https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/danquah-v.-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey/danquah-v-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey---temporary-restraining-order.pdf?sfvrsn=d49c9b46_4https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/danquah-v.-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey/danquah-v-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey---brief-in-support-of-motion-for-temporary-restraining-order.pdf?sfvrsn=d6705dc0_4https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/danquah-v.-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey/danquah-v-university-of-medicine-and-dentistry-of-new-jersey---complaint.pdf?sfvrsn=1f4834eb_4
Court Title Date
Trial Court
Transcript of proceedings from 12-22-2011 hearing Dec 22 2011
Trial Court
Reply in support of nurses’ application for preliminary injunction Dec 01 2011
Trial Court
UMDNJ brief opposing preliminary injunction Nov 22 2011
Trial Court
Motion and brief for emergency order Nov 18 2011
Trial Court
Temporary restraining order Nov 03 2011
Trial Court
Brief in support of motion for temporary restraining order Nov 02 2011
Trial Court
Complaint Oct 31 2011