Woman Citing ‘Religious Freedom’ Suing Clinic That Wouldn’t Hire Her Because She Won’t Prescribe Birth Control

stewart-religionAnd this is what people talked about when they said the “floodgates” had now been opened up following the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling a few weeks ago.

Now there’s a woman in Florida suing a health clinic that wouldn’t hire her because, if given the job, she wouldn’t prescribe most forms of birth control.  Essentially she’s arguing that her “pro-life” religious views should trump medical science when it comes to dealing with patients.

Sara Hellwege, a nurse-midwife in Tampa, Florida, opposes most forms of birth control, including the birth control pill.  Well, when she applied for a position with the Tampa Family Health Centers she was asked about her affiliation with anti-contraception groups.  That’s when she informed human resources that she would refuse to prescribe birth control to people who specifically requested it.

Needless to say, she was informed that prescribing birth control was a part of the job – and she wasn’t hired.

Now Hellwege is suing the clinic, claiming she’s being discriminated against based on her religious views.

Think about that for a moment.  Someone wanting to work in the medical industry seems to believe that her religious views are more important than the rights of patients to get medical treatment based on medical science – not her personal religious beliefs.

Imagine if she actually won this lawsuit.  This would essentially place the religious beliefs of people working in the medical industry over the science of medicine when it comes to patient care.

This is absurd.  If she opposes birth control, that’s fine, she doesn’t have to use it.  But if she wants to work in the medical industry, she has to base her prescriptions on medicine, not religion.  What she’s trying to claim is that since she opposes birth control, that gives her the right to prevent other people from gaining access to it.  Even though she was seeking employment from a company that doesn’t oppose birth control.

In other words, her religious views not only trump the views of the people she would be treating, but the business for which she would be working.  Even though that business views the willingness to prescribe birth control pills if patients want them as a requirement for that position.

That’s like me owning a bar and having someone apply to be a bartender who told me during the interview that they would refuse to serve alcohol to customers based on their religious views.  Then that person suing me after I didn’t hire them because they would have refused to perform the duties required for the job for which they were applying.

So, to these people, “religious freedom” more or less overrules everything.  Business policies, medical science, the rights of others to not have another person’s views forced on them – none of that matters.

See why this Hobby Lobby ruling was so troublesome?  It’s essentially made “religious freedom” the trump card in any argument where religion is even remotely related.

Because this is just the beginning.  I’m sure we’re going to see more and more stories similar to this pop up where people claim “religious discrimination” because their attempts to force their religious views on others were denied.


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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