FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A nurse practitioner from northern Virginia sued CVS Health on Wednesday, saying she was fired for refusing to offer abortion-inducing medication at its MinuteClinic medical amenities.
Within the lawsuit, Paige Casey stated CVS had for years granted her a non secular lodging that allowed her to choose out of prescribing or offering the medication and sure contraceptives with out incident.
Final yr, although, she says the corporate modified its coverage and stopped offering such lodging.
Casey — who labored for MinuteClinic since 2018, primarily at a facility in Alexandria — appealed to the corporate, saying her Catholic religion teaches her that life begins at conception and she or he couldn’t present care in violation of that precept.
She says she was fired in late March, the identical day she emailed firm officers to reiterate her objections.
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Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit authorized group led by conservative Christian Michael Farris, is representing Casey and says Virginia legislation explicitly bars employers from taking disciplinary motion towards workers who object to abortion on ethical or non secular grounds.
“Every American should have the freedom to operate according to their ethical and religious beliefs,” ADF lawyer, Kevin Theriot, who’s representing Casey, stated in a cellphone interview.
Michael DeAngelis, a spokesman for Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS, stated the corporate tries to accommodate non secular beliefs, however stated sexual well being providers are a necessary a part of the job at MinuteClinics.
“It is not possible … to grant an accommodation that exempts an employee from performing the essential functions of their job,” he stated in a written assertion. “We cannot grant exemptions from these essential MinuteClinic functions.”
Theriot stated there may be little or no case legislation underneath the Virginia statute, partially as a result of “very rarely do corporations just come out and fire somebody because of their religious convictions.”
But he said most states provide similar protections, and federal law provides protection as well.
Patients who wanted birth control or abortion medications not provided by Casey could simply schedule or be served by other practitioners in the MinuteClinic network, Theriot said. And that worked seamlessly until CVS changed its policy, Theriot said.
“CVS created a problem where none existed,” he stated.
The lawsuit was filed in Prince William County Circuit Courtroom.
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