Illinois Fined for Violating Nurse’s Rights

Sandra Rojas

“An Illinois county must pay more than $370,000 in attorney’s fees for requiring a Christian nurse to refer women for abortions and provide abortifacient contraceptives, a state judge ruled Wednesday. Sandra Rojas had worked as a pediatric nurse for 18 years in the Winnebago County Health Department when, in 2015, she and other nurses were required to undergo training that involved learning about abortion referrals and abortifacient contraceptives. Rojas objected, saying her Christian faith prohibited her from assisting in abortion services. Although her supervisor gave her a temporary religious accommodation, Rojas was told that the training and the abortion-related services were required to work in her position. Rojas resigned her position and then sued the county, alleging it had violated her freedom of religion and freedom of conscience rights. Judge Eugene G. Doherty of the 17th Judicial Circuit sided with Rojas last year, ruling the department ‘improperly discriminated’ against Rojas ‘by refusing to accommodate her objections of conscience.’ The department, the judge ruled, had violated the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act. On Wednesday, Doherty ordered the county to pay $374,104 in attorney’s fees.”

“Illinois County,” Christian Headlines, Feb. 18, 2022