CVS Fires Nurses Who Seek a Religious Exemption from Dispensing Drugs That Could Induce Abortions

CVS seems to be in the habit of firing nurse practitioners who refuse to prescribe or dispense drugs that could induce abortions. The company used to allow religious accommodations for such employees.

CVS fired Robyn Strader, a nurse practitioners in Texas, for requesting a religious accommodation against prescribing or dispensing drugs that could induce abortions — even though she had a religious accommodation for the previous six years. Strader, who worked in CVS’s MinuteClinic, referred customers to another employee or to another store a short distance away. After termination, she filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

CVS fired Paige Casey, a Catholic nurse practitioners in Virginia, for refusing to prescribe or dispense drugs that could induce abortions, despite a state law that protects the conscience rights of medical professionals with religious or moral objections to playing any role in killing the unborn. Casey, who worked for the company’s MinuteClinic, filed a lawsuit in August.

CVS most recently fired Suzanne Schuler, a Catholic nurse practitioners in Kansas who also worked at a CVS MinuteClinic. She filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against CVS over her termination. Schuler contends that CVS retaliated against her because of her religious beliefs. Like Strader, Schuler also had a previous religious accommodation. From the Christian Post:

Schuler successfully obtained religious exemptions to a 2011 requirement that nurse practitioners refill birth control prescriptions and a 2015 amendment to her job description requiring her to prescribe contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs.

The complaint contends that “Nothing changed in terms of the job description of a nurse practitioner according to the position summary of CVS for that position in 2021 and nothing in the 2021 job description added different obligations that did not exist under the prior published job description.” It asserts that MinuteClinic “abruptly stopped respecting Ms. Schuler’s religious beliefs in September 2021 and fired her October 31, 2021, for refusing to prescribe abortion-causing drugs.”

CVS claims that it’s an undue hardship to give these nurses a religious accommodation. But Schuler said in her lawsuit that no coworkers, patients, or supervisors ever complained while she had an accommodation.

“Ms. Schuler’s work was outstanding, and she had no performance issues throughout her employment with Defendants.”

Photo credit: ajay_suresh (Creative Commons) – Some rights reserved

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