Temple (FOX 44) — A Temple nurse has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs and his department because of an order to provide abortion services. She has also requested a preliminary injunction under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to prevent the VA from requiring her to perform those services.
The plantiff, Stephanie Carter, works in the Women’s Health Department at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, according to her LinkedIn profile.
In the lawsuit which was filed on Tuesday, Dec. 13th, Carter and her attorneys say the Biden Administration ordered the U.S. department of Veterans Affairs to provide abortions and abortion counseling to veterans.
According to the lawsuit, Carter’s religious beliefs prevent her from performing, prescribing, or counseling for abortions. She doesn’t feel as if she can work in a facility that performs those services, unless it is to save the life of the mother.
Carter’s lawsuit says she requested a religious accommodation from participating in abortion services from the VA on two occasions in October, but her supervisor told her there was no process in place in the VA to consider her requests.
You can read the full lawsuit here:
FOX 44 News reached out to Veterans Affairs for comment about the lawsuit. We received the following statement from VA Press Secretary Terrance Hayes:
From the moment VA announced this new rule, Secretary McDonough has made clear to all employees that their religious beliefs are protected here at VA. While we cannot comment on ongoing litigation, VA does provide accommodation for VA employees who wish to opt out of providing abortion counseling or services. We are currently honoring exemption requests that come through VA supervisors. We have provided all VA health care employees with this information – including information for how to exercise those protections through VA’s Office of Resolution Management Diversity and Inclusion – and we have encouraged employees to inform their supervisors of any requests for exemptions.”VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes
Hayes also said the VA is committed to providing the more than 600,000 women Veterans who use VA health care the full range of reproductive health services to ensure their health and well-being. “We provide access to abortion counseling and abortions when the life or health of the pregnant Veteran would be endangered if the pregnancy were carried to term or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest,” Hayes said.