Leading pro-life groups ar concerned that a $71 million increase in taxpayer funding to the Office of Women’s Health at the Department of Veterans Affairs will be used illegally to fund abortions. Since 1992, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been statutorily prohibited from using taxpayer dollars for abortion. In September, the Biden administration ignored this longstanding prohibition and issued a new rule that funds abortion for undefined and presumably broad “health” reasons.
Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans Affairs said it plans to kill babies in abortions in cases of rape or incest or in cases where the mother’s life or health is in danger, even though doctors repeatedly say abortions are never medically necessary.
Responding to this, a VA nurse in Texas has filed a lawsuit against the administration, saying she doesn’t want to have to work at a hospital that also kills babies in abortions and could require her to assist in or promote abortions.
The plaintiff in the Texas lawsuit — Stephanie Carter, a nurse practitioner at the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Center in Temple — is a 23-year VA employee and Army veteran who says in legal filings that she cannot “work in a facility that performs abortion services for reasons other than to save the life of the mother because … unborn babies are created in the image of God and should be protected.”
The lawsuit was filed on Carter’s behalf by First Liberty Institute, a nonprofit Christian conservative legal group based in Texas. In a statement, officials said the new policy violates a host of religious liberty protections.
“It is unconscionable that the Biden administration would force health care workers at VA facilities to violate their consciences,” said Danielle Runyan, senior counsel for the institute. “The VA should be focused on caring for the men and women who bravely served to protect our country, not on performing illegal abortions.”
The lawsuit (filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas) alleges that allowing abortions at VA facilities “substantially burdens Ms. Carter’s sincerely held religious beliefs and forces her to choose between her job and her religious convictions.”