LifeSiteNews.com is reporting that Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a lawsuit Monday on behalf of a licensed counselor who was fired after referring a person seeking counsel with a same-sex relationship to a colleague. Rather than attempt to provide a service that would conflict with her sincerely-held religious beliefs on homosexual behavior, Marcia Walden referred her to another counselor; however, the counselee later filed a complaint that ultimately cost Walden her job.
As I travel around the country, I find medical professionals and the lay public astounded that there is a large and growing movement (not only here in the U.S., but around the world) to remove the right for healthcare professionals to have the “Right of Conscience” – to refuse to dispense a medication, do a procedure, or provide a therapy that conflicts with their deeply-held religious or moral convictions.
Here are just a few of the headlines from this last year:
• Pharmacists have been fired for refusing to dispense what they believe are abortifacient medications (whether the birth control pill or the morning after pill).
• Family medicine and Ob-Gyn residents have been pressured to or forced to perform abortions against their conscience.
• Ob-Gyns have been threatened with loss of their Board Certification if they refuse to refer patients for abortions.
• A Reproductive endocrinologist has been sued for refusing to perform IVF for a lesbian couple.
• My former partner, John Hartman, M.D., had his license in Florida threatened because a Physician Assistant that worked with him suggested to a lesbian that it may not be a health enhancing lifestyle.
Fortunately, for healthcare professionals who exercise their Right of Conscience, we have the ADF which says, “A woman shouldn’t lose her job for merely upholding the highest professional standards.”
They go on to point out, “It is unconstitutional to punish Walden for following her Christian faith, particularly when she made every effort to accommodate the needs of a potential client. Referring her to another competent counselor instead of attempting to offer her own counsel in such a situation was the ethical thing to do for the person seeking help. It’s egregious to be fired for honoring professional and ethical obligations.”
Hopefully the courts will agree.