Pro-Life Nurse Fired for Refusing to Issue Morning-After Pills Wins Lawsuit

RIVERSIDE, CA, May 27, 2002 ( – A federal jury in California found Friday that Riverside County violated the constitutional rights of a nurse who was fired from her job after she refused to dispense the morning after pill. The U.S. District Court jury found that Riverside County violated the constitutional rights of former nurse Michelle Diaz.

The American Center for Law and Justice, which represented Diaz reported that following a four-day trial in federal court, the jury found the county was guilty on all three counts presented: violated her First Amendment rights of free speech; violated her rights of freedom of religion; and, failed to reasonably accommodate her religious beliefs. The jury also awarded damages totaling more than $47,000 – including $19,000 in damages for back pay, and more than $28,000 in damages for emotional distress.

The case began in December 2000 when the ACLJ filed suit in U.S. District Court in Riverside, California against the Riverside Neighborhood Health Center on behalf of Diaz, who worked as a Clinic Health Nurse at the center. The suit contended that Diaz was fired after she told her supervisor that her deeply held religious beliefs prevented her from distributing medication designed to end pregnancies because she believed she would be participating in an abortion. The suit contended that she was fired from her job in June 1999 shortly after she talked to the news media about the “morning-after” pill controversy and explained

her position.

See the ACLJ release:


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