Vanderbilt Alters Application Because of Abortion Statement

A Christian legal group’s complaint spurred Vanderbilt University to change its nurses’ residency program application, according to an article published in The Tennessean. The Alliance Defense Fund was concerned that applicants to the nursing program’s women’s health track were asked to sign a letter acknowledging that they may be caring for women who are terminating or have terminated their pregnancies.

A statement in the letter said: “I am aware I may be providing nursing care for women who are having” procedures such as abortions. The Alliance Defense Fund claimed this sentence violated a federal law that said entities receiving federal funds cannot require someone to participate in abortion care against his or her religious or moral objections, The Tennessean reported.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokesman John Howser said earlier this week that the language on the application would be clarified. The new version includes modified language, has no signature requirement and informs applicants about how to request an exemption from participating in abortion care. The University also e-mailed applicants to assure them that employees are not required to provide care against their moral or religious objections

Howser also noted that the previous language did not require residents to participate in abortions, but that it was to inform the residents that they may be caring for women who have had abortions or who are seeking them.

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