Emily Herx, who taught English at the Catholic St. Vincent De Paul school in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is suing because she said she was fired for undergoing in vitro fertilization treatments, which contradicts Catholic doctrine. Herx said that the school’s principal, whom she told in 2010 that she was having the treatments, said “you are in my prayers, ” which she construed as permission. It was a year later, when she asked for some time off for treatments, that she was told her contract would not be renewed for “improprieties relating to church teachings.”
U.S. District Judge Robert Miller said this is not a case of sex discrimination, because the prohibition of in vitro fertilization by the church does not specify about gender. The issue at hand is whether or not the school, as a Catholic institution, had the right to fire Herx for going against church teachings. Herx’s lawyer says that even if that were justified, Hertx was an English teacher and not a member of the clergy, and the school’s action in terminating her action was discriminatory.
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