Is Prepping a Patient “Assisting In An Abortion?”


The recent legal case of a group of anti-choice nurses who claim they had their rights violated when the hospital forced them to participate in performing abortions became a bit of a head-scratcher when both sides claimed the other was lying.

But could it be that everyone is telling their truth?

According to the National Review, the real issue might be that the nurses and the hospital have two entirely different definitions of “participating” in a procedure.  It released an email from the hospital responding to the nurses accusations that states:

Please be advised that the plaintiff-nurses named in the above-referenced lawsuit are not required to assist in abortion procedures. Rather, they are required to provide patients who have elected to terminate their pregnancies with pre-operative care (not including the administration of induction medications), and postoperative care. The pre- and post-operative care provided to these patients is of the same nature as that provided to patients who have undergone other surgical procedures. In short, UMDNJ is in full compliance with the laws cited in your email. Also, the November 4, 2011 training to which your email refers is training relating to pre- and postoperative care procedures and not, as you state, training relating to “assisting abortions.”

So to the nurses, being asked to have any contact with the women, even as much as taking a temperature or helping her down the hall once she has recovered, is “participating in an abortion procedure.”  Now the question is, whose definition will stand up in court?

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  • stacey-burns

    So, by this definition if a nurse were to administer an ultrasound revealing fetal anomalies that cause a woman to reevaluate her pregnancy and ultimately seek an abortion, that nurse would have assisted in an abortion. 

  • crowepps

    So what the nurses want is for the ‘bad’ women who are having abortions to be given patient gowns with big scarlet A’s all over them, so that the nurses don’t accidentally touch them and get contaminated.  I have an idea!  Why don’t the nurses just refuse to provide care to any female patients at all?  After all, who knows, she might really be in for fibroids THIS time, but who knows what her past medical history is!  It’s clearly a violation of their freedom of conscience and ability to judge, condemn and stigmitize patients for nurses to be expected to ever provide care to “those kind of people”.