CV NEWS FEED // Following a lawsuit by a Texas pro-life nurse practitioner, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a national religious exemption accommodation protocol on Monday.
Army veteran Stephanie Carter was a nurse practitioner for Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Center in Temple, Texas, for 23 years before the Biden administration issued its 2022 rule mandating nurses to provide “a wide breadth of abortion services” to VA patients.
VA officials informed Carter that her position with the VA required her to “prescribe medications to end certain first trimester pregnancies if she did not have an approved religious accommodation.”
According to her lawsuit filed in December, Carter then discovered there was no process by which she could obtain an accommodation.
First Liberty, a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to defending religious freedom, took up Carter’s case in December, filing the suit on her behalf.
Their legal team argued that the Biden administration’s rule would place her in contempt of Texas state law, which prohibits abortions.
First Liberty also cited the VA’s “longstanding” compliance with federal law prohibiting their clinics from performing abortions.
Following the VA’s decision to establish a national religious accommodation protocol for its employees, First Liberty will dismiss its lawsuit, according to a press release issued on Monday.
“We’re pleased that the VA implemented a nationwide policy to protect the religious liberty rights of all VA employees,” said Danielle Runyan, senior counsel for First Liberty Institute.
First Liberty called the VA’s concession a “Huge Win” in a tweet shortly after the news broke, describing the outcome as “a tremendous victory that has positively impacted thousands of VA employees of faith.”
First Liberty has not yet responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.