Skip to comments.Teacher Claims Catholic School Fired Her Over IVF
Posted on 04/26/2012 8:35:52 AM PDT by Abathar
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- A Fort Wayne teacher who claims she was fired from a Roman Catholic school for using in vitro fertilization to try to get pregnant is suing in a case that could set up a legal showdown over reproductive and religious rights.
Emily Herx's lawsuit accuses the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and St. Vincent de Paul School in Fort Wayne of discrimination for her firing last June.
Herx, 31, of Hoagland, Ind., said that the church pastor told her she was a "grave, immoral sinner" and that a scandal would erupt if anyone learned she had undergone in vitro fertilization, or IVF.
The Roman Catholic Church shuns IVF, which involves mixing egg and sperm in a laboratory dish and transferring a resulting embryo into the womb. Herx said she was fired despite exemplary performance reviews in her eight years as a language arts teacher.
Legal experts said Herx's case illustrates a murky area in the debate over separation of church and state that even the U.S. Supreme Court has failed to clearly address.
(Excerpt) Read more at theindychannel.com ...
Then why call it evil? Why not just call it part of His plan?
Why call anything evil?
It would be like if I went to teach at a Jewish school, I wouldn't expect to bring bacon cheeseburgers for lunch.
Because children are not commodities.
Two or three ideas:
One, that the sexual act within marriage cannot be separated from potential fertility, and potential fertility cannot be separated from the sexual act. There is a sacredness and a total self-giving in the marriage act, and conception of children is not permitted outside of this sacredness.
Two, that IVF treats the embryos created as commodities not as human beings, and substitutes the physician’s will for the will of God - this embryo is not dividing well, discard it, these are extra, freeze them.
Three, a practical problem rather than an intrinsic problem, the death of discarded embryos, equivalent to abortion, or the direct abortion of extra fetuses within the womb.
The Church does permit the transfer of an unfertilized ovum from above a blocked fallopian tube to below the blockage. It permits hormonal treatment to trigger ovulation and support pregnancy. It permits intrauterine injection of sperm, provided that the sperm was collected during a normal act of intercourse in the marriage (via a condom with a few holes pricked in it.)
It does not permit insemination with the sperm of a man who is not the husband, nor the use of an ovum not from the wife. It does permit the adoption and implantation of frozen embryos.
So it isn’t that what occurs by nature must be God’s will. It’s a question of the limits on tweaking nature, and keeping those tweaks within the sacred nature of the marriage act. This can certainly look like hair-splitting, but there’s a complex consistency to it.
Back to the article - the teacher would never have had a problem if she hadn’t talked about it - who would ever have known how the baby was conceived? Was she unaware of the teachings of the Church, or did she decide to be confrontational?
I keep thinking the only way the Parish found out about this is that she told them. How else would they know? If she truly wanted to attempt IVF... she should have kept her private life... private. By telling the Priest, she essentially painted him into a corner. IMHO.
I appreciate the thought you put into your reply. Thank you for that. I often like asking questions, to help understand those with viewpoints different than mine - I just try to be as respectful to othes, as I expect them to be to me and my faith.
That said, I know have a much better grasp of the ‘why’.
And I agree with your final assessment. She did not have to tell anyone what she did, as it was truly not anyone’s business. But, once she informed others about this - the church had no choice but to respond. She knew she was in violation of the morality clause of her employer, she went ahead and pursued this course of action, she made it known that she had flagrantly violated the contract of her employment - now she is demanding that ‘her’ morality over-rides the ‘morality’ of the person providing her paycheck. Too bad she threw what appears to be an outstanding career opportunity away.
As part of the IVF process, many fertilized embryos are created that will not be implanted. Those are either destroyed, or left to sit in a freezer until the person wants to try and get pregnant again. The person undergoing IVF might successfully have one child, but at the same time kill dozens of others in the process.
For man, I believe it’s so we can make laws and assign responsibilities. I don’t think anything is evil in God’s eyes.
It would be like if I went to teach at a Jewish school, I wouldn’t expect to bring bacon cheeseburgers for lunch
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Other than raised eyebrows and maybe an admonishment and you being ‘instructed’ it was not in the best interest etc,
I think the REAL problem would be when you insist the school cafeteria serve BCB’s because it is YOUR right to have them.
Then you are expecting the food handlers and school to go against their principles and beliefs.
That is what “THEY” are doing to or trying to force US to do on a daily basis.
Maybe she was letting them know so that they could start looking for her replacement while she took maternity leave?
If she told him in confession, he could not have taken any public action without violating the laws of the Church.
If she told him outside of confession that’s a different story. It would be an unusual priest who would fire someone who wasn’t making a public scandal of this, who wasn’t telling a lot of people.
“... looking for her replacement while she took maternity leave”.
The article makes it sound like she was attempting to get pregnant via IVF (that she wasn’t pregnant yet). If she had gotten pregnant, why tell them “how”? She could have simply told them that she was expecting in December and be done with it. Neither here nor there but IVF has no guarantee. It isn’t a done deal simply because you had IVF...
“... making a public scandal of this...”
Reminds me somewhat of the woman who told the priest that she was a Buddhist and in a lesbian relationship. The priest didn’t give her Communion. The woman was then outraged. If this woman had simply kept private business (and I feel conceiving a child with your husband as private) then this would be a non-issue. IMHO.
Scripture contradicts you but one can easily surmise that a moral relativist like yourself doesn't place much importance on Scripture.
Maybe she was thinking positively and perhaps was looking into her benefits that are available for pregnant women?
If she wasn’t married, then I imagine someone would ask something about the father, or even if she was married, someone probably would ask how happy her husband must be or something similar.
Somethings I do, somethings I don’t.
Moot point since she isn't Catholic.
The school found out that Herx was using IVF because she told them about it when she used sick days for the treatments, according to the lawsuit. School officials didn't indicate until later that there was a problem, the lawsuit says.
Sounds like the "school officials" need a period of intense remedial instruction in the Catechism. Makes one wonder if they aren't Catholic too.
The Parish wouldn’t have known she was having infertility issues unless she told them. She could have simply said that they were hoping to start a family (not a lie) and wanted to know the maternity benefits. I know many women who simply tell way too much info about their lives. Keeping certain aspects of one’s life private has a respectability to it. IMHO.