NEWARK, N.J. - A group of 12 nurses who sued the University Hospital in Newark over a policy requiring them to care for patients before and after abortions can no longer be compelled to assist in these procedures, under an agreement reached in federal court.

The nurses in the same-day surgery unit of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey can remain in their current jobs and will only be required to help patients with abortions in a life-threatening emergency when no other nonobjecting staff members are available and only until someone can be brought in to relieve them, according to the Dec. 22 agreement.

U.S. District Judge Jose Linares, who mediated the agreement, said the nurses would be allowed to remain in the unit and would not be discriminated against because of their stance on abortion. He declined to rule on how the hospital would configure its nursing staff, calling that a contract issue.

Published in International

OTTAWA - Lawyers for oft-arrested pro-life demonstrator Linda Gibbons argued before the Supreme Court of Canada Dec. 14 that using the criminal courts to stop her protests is like using a butcher’s knife where a scalpel would be more appropriate.

Attorney Daniel Santoro told the land's highest court that criminal courts should not be used to enforce an injunction made by a civil court, an injunction that has been used to jail Gibbons repeatedly. Instead, violations of civil injunctions or orders made by family courts or human rights tribunals should go back to the civil courts for enforcement, where there are a wider variety of remedies, including the lifting of the injunction.

Published in Canada

MANCHESTER, England - Catholic medical professionals have questioned the reliability of a British review concluding that women who have abortions have no increased risk of developing mental health problems.

The British government-funded "Systematic Review of Induced Abortion and Women's Mental Health" found that although an unwanted pregnancy may cause mental health problems, it made no difference to the mother's mental well-being if she continued with the pregnancy or had an abortion.

The review was carried out by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health at the Royal College of Psychiatry and published by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

Dr. Roch Cantwell, a consultant perinatal psychiatrist who led the review, said that the work showed "that abortion is not associated with an increase in mental health problems."

Published in International

OTTAWA - With Christmas and the commercialization of the holidays, it is easy to get depressed about the consumerism in the modern world, said Sr. Nuala Kenny.

“Pay attention to the notion of commercialization and commodification because that’s the world in which we find ourselves,” said Kenny, a Sister of Charity of Halifax whose resumé includes work as a pediatrician and bioethicist at Halifax’s Dalhousie University. She is also an officer of the Order of Canada.

Published in Youth Speak News