FL midwife sues clinic that won’t hire her because she won’t prescribe birth control pills
A Tampa, Florida woman is suing a local reproductive health clinic for not hiring her even though she refuses to prescribe birth control pills to patients per the job description, Slate reported.
Sara Hellwege’s lawsuit argued that the Tampa Family Health Centers violated her religious freedom by not hiring her. Hellwege, a nurse-midwife, told the clinic’s human resources director, Chad Lindsey, via email that she would only prescribe sterilization and barrier methods like condoms and cervical shields.
Hellwege is a member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a conservative medical group that opposes prescribing the pills because of the organization’s belief that some birth control methods are comparable to abortions.
According to Jezebel, emails between Hellwege and Lindsey show that he informs her that because the clinic follows the Title X Family Planning Program, her application could not proceed because there were no available positions that would exclude her from prescribing birth control.
“Unfortunately, we do not have any positions for antepartum & laborist only,” Lindsey wrote.
“I would still desire to apply for a position that includes postpartum & well-woman/preventative care as well as antepartum & laboral care, under the religious and moral parameters I stated previously,” Hellwege replied. “With that clarification, is it still possible to move forward in your application process?”
Hellwege is being represented in her lawsuit by another conservative group, the Alliance Defending Freedom.
“No one deserves to suffer discrimination just because they’re pro-life,” ADF senior legal counsel Matt Bowman said in a statement. “Federal and state law make it clear that being pro-abortion cannot be a prerequisite for employment, nor can federally funded facilities force nurses to assist with practices that could lead to an abortion.”