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Judge Refuses to Dismiss Law Suit of IVF Patient against Diocese
Federal judge, Robert Miller, has refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought forth by an Indiana school teacher who was fired from her job because she underwent in vitro fertilization (IVF), a fertility treatment that is banned under Catholic law.
Emily Herx sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend Indiana in April of 2012, a case which the diocese fought to be dismissed. Herx states that diocese officials learned of her struggle with infertility and IVF treatment, and declined to renew her contract for the upcoming school year.
The diocese argued that employees of a religion-affiliated organization are prohibited from suing their employer for job discrimination and are required to follow religious doctrine. They argued the suit violated the constitutional freedom of religion, and separation of church and state. However, no court has held these religious guidelines to be law.
The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission ruled in Herx’s favor citing gender discrimination and disability discrimination on the basis of Herx’s infertility diagnosis.
IVF is a morally-charged procedure in the eyes of the Catholic Church due to the belief that life is created outside of the work of God. The creation of embryos, and more so the destruction of embryos, violates Catholic principles.