« Ind. Law - "Legislature hops on moped regulations" | Main | Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today »

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ind. Courts - An update on Emily Herx’s suit against the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese

Here is a long list of earlier ILB entries on the case. Today Charles Wilson of the AP reports in a story that begins:

A former Roman Catholic schoolteacher who sued a northern Indiana diocese after being fired nearly three years ago for having in vitro fertilization says in court documents that church doctrine on the procedure should not be presented to the jury.

In documents filed last week in federal court in Fort Wayne, church attorneys said they want Bishop Kevin Rhoades and other officials in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to testify and explain the doctrine in Emily Herx's sex discrimination lawsuit against the diocese and St. Vincent De Paul School in Fort Wayne.

But Herx's attorneys said in documents the doctrine is irrelevant and that the church has flipped its former position.

"Defendants have argued repeatedly that their religious teachings should not be hashed out before a secular court, and now they seek to bring religious teachings front and center," Herx's lawyers wrote.

The Roman Catholic Church shuns in vitro fertilization, or IVF, which involves mixing egg and sperm in a laboratory dish and transferring a resulting embryo into the womb.

Herx sued the diocese in April 2012, alleging the diocese violated the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against her based on gender and on infertility, which is considered a disability.

In a letter Herx wrote to St. Vincent officials shortly after she was informed of her dismissal, she said it was terrible to be forced to choose between trying to have children and keeping her job as a language arts teacher. Herx, who is not Catholic, said in the letter that she miscarried the embryo at the end of April 2011, shortly after learning her contract would not be renewed.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 6, 2014 05:21 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts