An Illinois trial court ruled Wednesday that Winnebago County must pay more than $374,000 in attorney's fees for requiring a Christian nurse to provide abortion referrals and contraception.
Sandra Rojas worked as a pediatric nurse for the Winnebago County Health Department for 18 years. In 2015, she was told that she must issue abortion referrals and abortion-inducing drugs to pregnant mothers.
Rojas refused, saying her Christian faith prohibited her from participating in abortion services. She resigned from her position and filed a lawsuit against the county, stating that the orders violated her freedom of religion and freedom of conscience rights.
Alliance Defending Freedom served as co-counsel in the case, alongside Noel Sterett of Dalton & Tomich and Whitman Brisky of Mauck & Baker.
"Health care professionals should not be required to violate their conscience to keep their jobs," Sterett said. "Thankfully, Illinois has laws that protect a health care professional's right to not participate in the provision of medical services which violate their conscience."
Circuit Court Judge Eugene Doherty issued an attorney fee award of $374,104.
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