As Leon Wolf aptly puts it at Redstate, this is the face of evil. A nurse in a lawsuit over conscience rights claims that she was told, "You just have to catch the baby's head. Don't worry, it's already dead." The hospital pretends that it is respecting nurses' conscience rights and that they are merely being asked to do routine care for patients before and after the abortion procedure, as if it were any surgery. In fact, the hospital even claims that nurses are not required to be in the room while the abortion procedure is going on.
Really? Is catching a dead baby a routine part of non-abortion surgeries? Obviously not. So we have a few options. 1) The hospital is deceiving or lying outright. 2) The nurse is lying outright. I'm having trouble coming up with other options. I suppose there might be a 3) The "catch the dead baby's head" order was not part of the normal working of the hospital's policy and won't be allowed to happen again.
There is no independent evidence for #3. I just made it up. The hospital certainly hasn't said anything of the sort.
Myself, I plump for #1. Under "lying outright" we would have simply forcing nurses to be in the room for the whole abortion, and that's that. Under "deceiving" we would have the abortionist doing some baby-killing thing--a poison shot to the child's heart, perhaps--followed by calling in the conscientious objector nurse to clean up the "detritus." As one commentator at Secondhand Smoke pointed out, in some abortion procedures this might be taking place over a fairly long period of time during which the woman's cervix was dilated after the child was killed by a lethal injection. That would make it somewhat easier for the hospital to pretend that it is respecting the nurse's conscience rights. Hey, it's the next morning after "the procedure." So of course catching the dead baby is just "post-abortion patient care."
And that's deception. By the way, where does "training" come in if we're talking about routine nursing skills that are the same for patient care before and after all surgical procedures? Wouldn't the nurses already have this training? But of course, it might take special training to clean up dead baby parts.
One other point that I don't know if anyone else has made about this: Think about the implications of giving pre-surgical care to a woman about to undergo an abortion. Even if what the nurse does really is in that case just routine medical stuff, here are two real people interacting. The nurse is not just a machine. And she knows that this person is about to have the life of her baby taken. At a minimum what is presumably being demanded is that the nurse say nothing to try to dissuade the mother at this last possible moment. Considering the hard work pro-lifers do to try to get an opportunity even to speak with abortion-minded women and suggest that they pursue other avenues, this is asking a lot and has major ramifications for the conscience of the nurses. Whatever conversation goes on (and patients and nurses do converse), how can the nurse in good conscience appear to approve of what the woman is about to do? What if the woman shows fear or second thoughts spontaneously? Is the nurse allowed to pick up on that and try to persuade her otherwise? What if the woman makes leading comments seeking to justify her action? Even "routine medical care" has enormous implications prior to a "surgical procedure" that is murder.
No, the hospital isn't respecting the nurses' conscience rights. What will happen next is anyone's guess. Legally, the situation is a bit odd. The nurses are evidently suing for alleged religious discrimination. This is smart, because it gives them standing. Their lawyer, however, is bringing up federal conscience protection laws, and in a similar suit elsewhere a federal judge ruled that federal conscience protection laws don't allow the individual to sue. Only Health and Human Services can enforce such laws if it feels like doing so. So I'm not sure exactly how the federal conscience protection laws will be brought in here. But more power to the nurses and to their lawyer. This is the face of evil, and it must be fought.