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Catholic School Teacher Fired For Getting In Vitro Fertilization

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woolfe9999

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
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Those are outdated references, their stance has changed over the years, or I could just say that it depends on your parish as some follow older rules than others...You are right on that, though it's more frequent that they are destroyed than donated
Assuming that is true - that destruction is the most common outcome - it would seem that if the church's true objection is to destruction, then a case not involving destruction of an embryo should not be a concern to them. Assuming she could prove to them that no embryo was destroyed in her case, they shouldn't have fired her. Instead, we're getting quotes from the Diocese that IV is an "absolute evil." It's possible that destruction being a common outcome is one objection, but the entire procedure is considered sinful for the other reasons I gave.

You make an interesting point about variance from parish to parish, but the issue here is the doctrine from the Vatican. That is presumably what the Diocese has grounded its objection on.

- wolf
 

corwin

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2006
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This whole argument is stupid. The Catholic church has proven time and again that the only thing they really object to is allowing a woman to control her own body and reproductive rights.
Then don't join the church...and don't work for them...see how easy that is;)
 

Ktulu

Diamond Member
Dec 16, 2000
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This whole argument is stupid. The Catholic church has proven time and again that the only thing they really object to is allowing a woman to control her own body and reproductive rights.
You have absolutely no idea what the church teaches in regards to womenhood, other than what you've learned from the media.
 

corwin

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2006
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Assuming that is true - that destruction is most common outcome - it would seem that if the church's true objection is to destruction, then a case not involving destruction of an embryo should not be a concern to them. Assuming she could prove to them that no embryo was destroyed in her, they shouldn't have fired her. Instead, we're getting quotes from the Diocese that IV is an "absolute evil." It's possible that destruction being a common outcome is one objection, but the entire procedure is considered sinful for the other reasons I gave.

- wolf
True, but again they condemn the procedure in general...did she give them full access to her medical records to assure them that none were destroyed? Or it could just be that whoever is over her boss is one of the "old school" types who doesn't really care...instead of the much more common progressive type like her direct boss who supported it.
 

woolfe9999

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
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True, but again they condemn the procedure in general...did she give them full access to her medical records to assure them that none were destroyed? Or it could just be that whoever is over her boss is one of the "old school" types who doesn't really care...instead of the much more common progressive type like her direct boss who supported it.
Good points, and I don't know about the records. I only know she alleges that no embryo was destroyed.
 

Ktulu

Diamond Member
Dec 16, 2000
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Yes however as explained to me in RCIA the part that leads to their condemnation of IVF is this part:



And of course there are those who hold on to more outdated thinking and are much more rigid than the majority of the modern church, however they are growing with the times slowly
All i'm saying is that both reasons for condemning IVF are valid. And i don't know if you noticed but that Vatican document was written in 2008, so its not exactly outdated.
 

corwin

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2006
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Good points, and I don't know about the records. I only know she alleges that no embryo was destroyed
Yep, not enough details to know for sure but in the end I think it really came down to an old school person found out and shit themselves over it...her boss that supported her probably got 10 lashes as well:p
All i'm saying is that both reasons for condemning IVF are valid. And i don't know if you noticed but that Vatican document was written in 2008, so its not exactly outdated.
Yes they're valid, and I wasn't saying "outdated" as in not followed anymore but more in the terms of the way most dioceses operate in modern times, yes those old school types tend to hold on to outdated thinking and are too damn rigid but most are much more progressive than that, imo/experience
 
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woolfe9999

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
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You have absolutely no idea what the church teaches in regards to womenhood, other than what you've learned from the media.
Then enlighten us regarding what it teaches regarding womanhood. If the "media" is misleading us, then provide better information.
 

Ktulu

Diamond Member
Dec 16, 2000
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Then enlighten us regarding what it teaches regarding womanhood. If the "media" is misleading us, then provide better information.
Well it certainly does not want to oppress women and take away control her own body and reproductive rights. That's just silly.
 

Ferocious

Diamond Member
Feb 16, 2000
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An IVF doctor once told me the following:

Some women because of their religious belief that destroying embryos is sinful....will have any remaining unwanted embryos transferred at such a time that a successful implantation (though possible) is much more unlikely....like during her period. They say this way they are leaving it in God's hands.
 

etrigan420

Golden Member
Oct 30, 2007
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Well it certainly does not want to oppress women and take away control her own body and reproductive rights. That's just silly.
Ummm, didn't this lady take control of her reproductive rights?

...and didn't they just fire her for doing so?

Agreed on the "silly" part.

Wrap that Rascal. :)
 

woolfe9999

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
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Well it certainly does not want to oppress women and take away control her own body and reproductive rights. That's just silly.
Well they don't support a woman's right to choose an abortion. They don't support a woman's right to use birth control pills, IUD's etc. They don't support a woman's right to choose in vitro fertilization.

They also don't support a man's right to choose a vasectomy, but apparently this rule does not concern them to the same extent as those others. Or it at least appears that way, if what this plaintiff alleges is true.

This is my understanding of the church's position on those issues. Feel free to correct me.

- wolf
 

Ktulu

Diamond Member
Dec 16, 2000
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Well they don't support a woman's right to choose an abortion. They don't support a woman's right to use birth control pills, IUD's etc. They don't support a woman's right to choose in vitro fertilization.

They also don't support a man's right to choose a vasectomy, but apparently this rule does not concern them to the same extent as those others. Or it at least appears that way, if what this plaintiff alleges is true.

This is my understanding of the church's position on those issues. Feel free to correct me.

- wolf
Well no, they don't support any of that since the church does not support the murder of human life. I certainly agree that they should have done the same with the men which the woman claims had similar procedures. But this was a matter of the school NOT the church. There seems to be a huge confusion as to who "the Church" is. Just because a school is a Catholic institution it doesn't mean that they speak for entire Church. Sounds to me like the school acted against church teaching as well by allowing the men off easy.
 

Atreus21

Lifer
Aug 21, 2007
12,017
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Several articles on this today. Here's one:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/04/catholic-school-teacher-claims-she-was-fired-for-using-ivf/1

Bullet point summary:

Married woman is teacher at Catholic school for 7 years;

She and her husband want to have another child but she has fertility problems;

She alleges she told her supervisor at the school that she was trying in vitro, that supervisor was supportive and told her that he was praying for her to get pregnant;

The higher ups at the Diocese find out about it and she is fired.

She alleges male teachers have gotten vasectomies which is apparently against Catholic doctrine and not been fired;

She sues for discrimination.

She says no embryos were destroyed in her in vitro procedures. Apparently in vitro is against Catholic doctrine either way. The Diocese referred to it as "sinful" and "evil."

There is a "ministerial" exception under the law where a religious institution can hire and fire for religious reasons and not be subject to discrimination suits. However, her attorney argues that this exception does not apply because she is not a priest and did not teach religion, taught secular subjects.

Is this just a matter of religious freedom for the school, or should she be allowed to pursue a discrimination claim, assuming for the sake of argument, that she can show that other employees were not fired for violating Catholic doctrine?

- wolf
I sharply disagree with the church regarding in-vitro. It is truly a medical miracle which allows a child to be brought into the world to a couple who clearly wants one.

As far as this lady's claim of discrimination: If it is true that 1) male teachers had vasectomies and 2) this would get them fired, then I think she's absolutely right.
 

corwin

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2006
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Well they don't support a woman's right to choose an abortion. They don't support a woman's right to use birth control pills, IUD's etc. They don't support a woman's right to choose in vitro fertilization.

They also don't support a man's right to choose a vasectomy, but apparently this rule does not concern them to the same extent as those others. Or it at least appears that way, if what this plaintiff alleges is true.

This is my understanding of the church's position on those issues. Feel free to correct me.

- wolf
Reproductive "rights" and the church's stance on morality don't exactly match in all cases no...however like I said earlier as for allowing men a "pass" on a vasectomy could be in regards to whether it was considered a venial or mortal sin...women of course bear a larger burden and responsibility in reproduction due to the nature of them being the ones who care for the unborn child, therefore it can be considered more restrictive on them for the simple facts of nature
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
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Good points, and I don't know about the records. I only know she alleges that no embryo was destroyed.
Since she's clearly making a point of the whole 'no embryos were destroyed' it seems to me an indication that that is what her superiors had a problem with.

Fern
 

Throckmorton

Lifer
Aug 23, 2007
16,833
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I looked into the Catholic objections to in vitro and embryo destruction doesn't seem to be the reason. Embryo destruction can occur sometimes accidentally, but it is not a routine or expected aspect of the procedure. I don't think pro-lifers object to, for example, surgery on a pregnant woman's uterus to remove endemitriosis because it might accidentally kill the embryo or fetus. They object to abortion as the intentional taking of a life.

With IV, sometimes left-over embryos can be destroyed, at the option of the parents, but there the objection is to the decision to destroy the embryos, not the IV procedure itself. The embryos can be donated to other couples who are trying to get pregnant but the mother can't produce a healthy egg.

It seems the objection has to do with conception occurring not as a result of sex. Sex for procreation is a spiritual union of sorts and babies are supposed to be produced in this spiritual union, and in vitro interferes with this. The objection is more in the vein of doctors playing God, it seems. It's still weird to me because the purpose and intended result is to create a life where it otherwise would not have been possible, but then again I'll never understand the religious mind set.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_vitro_fertilisation#Catholic_objections

- wolf
WTF? They didn't teach me this in Sunday school. The Catholic Church is a bizarre organization.

Also, vasectomy is a "mortal sin" http://www.catholicdoors.com/faq/qu349.htm
 

hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
16,368
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Assuming for sake of argument that other employees were allowed to divert from policy without repercussion, she should be allowed to sue. Selective enforcement is a major no-no IMO.

Well, I'm not Catholic, but I can't think of any reason, at all, why in vitro is against their faith. Particularly given her superiors supported it.

Maybe someone can explain why the Catholic church is against it. I've never heard of that and I'm baffled (as well as curious).

Edit: Ooops. Didn't read carefully:



Of course, there's still the question of whether it does or not, given her denial. Frankly, I don't know one way or the other.

Fern
Because at the time the Catholic church made their ruling the "state of art" of in vitro fertilization harvests several eggs and fertilize them creating several embryos (which the Catholics and other right to lifers think is a full blown life). Not all of them are used and are either destroyed or sent to labs for stem cell research where they are once again eventually destroyed.
 

ichy

Diamond Member
Oct 5, 2006
6,940
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And there are different levels of "sin", venial and mortal, IVF would fall under mortal due to fertilized embryos being destroyed (ie aborted) while I'm unsure of where vasectomies might fall
They consider all contraception to be a mortal sin. Only the rhythm method is acceptable.
 

ichy

Diamond Member
Oct 5, 2006
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Why did she tell people she was getting IVF? I have no love for the Roman Church but if you're going to work at one of their schools it kind of makes sense that you need to follow their rules, regardless of how idiotic they are.
 

corwin

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2006
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They consider all contraception to be a mortal sin. Only the rhythm method is acceptable.
Yep my memory has been refreshed...if that's the case then whoever fired her is probably looking for those guys now as well...or he's a sexist and not just an old school hard line Catholic, which I would find offensive and wrong
 

corwin

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2006
8,640
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Why did she tell people she was getting IVF? I have no love for the Roman Church but if you're going to work at one of their schools it kind of makes sense that you need to follow their rules, regardless of how idiotic they are.
That would be the big question..I know tons of Catholics who use birth control, they just don't go around advertising it;)
 

actuarial

Platinum Member
Jan 22, 2009
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Well no, they don't support any of that since the church does not support the murder of human life. I certainly agree that they should have done the same with the men which the woman claims had similar procedures. But this was a matter of the school NOT the church. There seems to be a huge confusion as to who "the Church" is. Just because a school is a Catholic institution it doesn't mean that they speak for entire Church. Sounds to me like the school acted against church teaching as well by allowing the men off easy.
You're seriously calling a vasectomy the 'murder of human life'?
 

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