Mother and Grandmother
Start Date: July 12, 2016
Eighteen years ago, I became a pediatric nurse to help children. I never thought that I would someday lose my job on account of my commitment to protect life and do no harm.
That terrible day came last year when the new Public Health Administrator for the Winnebago County Health Department decided that I could no longer serve as a pediatric nurse unless I was willing to violate my conscience and commitment to life. She wrote me a letter giving me two weeks to decide whether I would perform my newly “required duties” of assisting in the provision of abortion referrals and abortifacient drugs or lose my job in the health clinics. To add insult to injury, the Health Department “offered” me a position as a “temporary part-time food inspector.”
What would you do?
Because I was unwilling to violate my conscience, my oath, and my commitment to God, I lost my job as a pediatric nurse. And with my job I lost my income—an income upon which my family relied. I could no longer afford to help keep three grandchildren in Catholic school and could not help my youngest son, who had just graduated from high school, with the cost of college. Due to my job loss and inability to help him, my son had to join the Army to help pay for his education. The fact that he won’t be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas makes me feel very guilty, as I struggle with the feeling that I am failing my children.
The stress that this has caused me has also taken a toll on my health. When I lost my job, I also lost my health insurance and could no longer see my Primary health provider.
I am daily struggling with the stress of my financial and health situation, but I have since learned of the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which was put in place to protect nurses just like me and our right of conscience. In June 2016, with the help of the pro-life attorneys at Mauck & Baker, I filed a lawsuit that I hope will vindicate my right of conscience. I also hope my case will help protect and encourage other nurses and doctors in their stand for life. We can’t do this alone. I can’t do this alone.
My family and I would greatly appreciate your prayers and any help you could give us as we look to meet expenses, keep my grandchildren in their Catholic school, and cover the costs of litigating my case and vindicating the right of conscience in Illinois.