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Nationally Renown Pro-Life Nurse Fired From Christ Hospital Job

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  • right2life@aol.com
    Nationally Renown Pro-Life Nurse Fired From Christ Hospital Job Source: Chicago Tribune, Daily Southtown; September 2, 2001 Chicago, IL -- Two years after
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 9, 2001
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      Nationally Renown Pro-Life Nurse Fired From Christ Hospital Job
      Source: Chicago Tribune, Daily Southtown; September 2, 2001

      Chicago, IL -- Two years after she first ccame into the national spotlight
      over her employer's "live birth abortion" policy, pro-life advocate Jill
      Stanek said Sunday that she has been fired from her nursing job at Christ
      Hospital and Medical Center in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn, Illinois.

      Hospital officials said the discharge Friday had nothing to do with the
      delivery room nurse's pro-life views, and Stanek declined to further
      discuss what her manager or the human resources department head told her
      Friday until she has a chance to talk with her attorney.

      Stanek has criticized the hospital since 1999 and has continued to give
      frequent media interviews to criticize the hospital's rare use of
      labor-induced abortion. She was suspended once for leaking confidential
      papers to the media, she said, and twice has been put on "final warning"
      probation after breaking an unspecified rule in her employment contract.

      A major turn of events took place in February of 2000 when Nurse Stanek
      was forced to appear before a hospital Board of Review where she it was
      alleged that she had, "contributed to a negative working environment
      because of her pro-life activism." She responded that hospital policy,
      "limited her rights and entitlement to free speech." She won that round
      when the board agreed to revise her evaluation, but let stand an
      admonishment.

      As part of the abortion procedure, doctors artificially deliver an unborn
      child in the second trimester if they detect a severe abnormality that
      would prevent her from surviving. But the abortion procedure can also
      occasionally result in unborn children living for as long as an hour
      outside the womb and hospital staff leave them to die.

      In July, Stanek testified on the issue before the U.S. House Judiciary
      Committee in favor of the pro-life Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Two
      weeks ago, a Chicago newspaper and the Pro-Life Infonet highlighted her
      history of activism against the hospital.

      When she returned to work Friday from vacation, Stanek was told she was
      fired and escorted from the building, she said.

      "It couldn't be coincidence this happened right after the article," Stanek
      said.

      However, hospital spokesman Michael Maggio said the article had nothing to
      do with the decision to let Stanek go. "She was the main reason our
      hospital became the center of attention in the abortion debate," Maggio
      said. "But that had nothing to do with it."

      "The article was no precipitating factor. I can tell you that much. ...
      The article is a non-issue," Maggio said. "She no longer works at Christ
      Medical Center. How that decision was reached, I was not involved."

      Maggio declined to explain why Stanek was fired, saying that personnel
      files are confidential.

      Stanek said she had been on "final warning" at Christ Hospital because she
      had encouraged people to picket a doctor who performed abortions. "I
      suppose it was a surprise and not a surprise," Stanek said.

      Stanek started at the hospital in 1993 and wasn't aware at first that the
      hospital performed labor-induced abortions. When she witnessed an aborted
      baby with Down syndrome that survived outside the womb for 45 minutes, she
      alerted hospital officials, thinking something went wrong, she said.

      In 1999, after consulting her pastor, she complained to the Illinois
      attorney general's office. Investigators concluded that the hospital
      violated no state laws.

      But soon after, the hospital's parent, Advocate Health Care, tightened its
      policies to no longer permit abortions on unborn children with non-lethal
      birth defects like Down syndrome or spina bifida.

      The controversy spurred pro-life state Sen. Patrick J. O'Malley of Palos
      Park -- now a candidate for the GOP nomination for governor -- to
      introduce a package of bills in the legislature that would have given
      "born-alive" infants a right to life. After being passed in the Illinois
      Senate, it was killed in a House committee.

      "Jill Stanek is one of the most courageous women I have ever met," said
      O'Malley, a former member of the hospital's governing council who resigned
      his post because of the controversy. "I'm astounded they fired such a
      talented professional. They're losing one of their best."

      Christ Hospital has never performed elective abortions, Maggio said.
      Currently it does the abortion procedure in cases of rape, incest, where
      the health of the mother is threatened or if fatal abnormalities are
      involved.

      The hospital typically performs only 15 to 20 labor-induced abortions out
      of more than 4,000 deliveries each year, said Rev. Larry Easterling, vice
      president of Christ Hospital. But he claimed the practice is common at
      hospitals across the nation.

      Stanek said that her fight against abortions at Christ Hospital will not
      end.

      "I will continue to speak out on behalf of the babies who were aborted
      alive at Christ," she said. "I'll continue to do what I can to stop the
      abortions there."

      --
      Courtesy of the Pro-Life Infonet email newsletter. For more information or to
      subscribe go to http://www.prolifeinfo.org or email infonet@...
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