Teacher sues school over in vitro fertilization firing
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WHDH) -- A former teacher is suing a catholic school, claiming discrimination. The Indiana woman says the diocese fired her because she was undergoing in vitro fertilization, a procedure that goes against Catholic teachings.
Emily Herx was diagnosed with infertility after the birth of her first child, but wanting more children she and her husband turned to in vitro fertilization.
At the time, Herx was a literature and language teacher at Saint Vincent de Paul School in Fort Wayne Indiana. She said she told the school she was going to get IVF.
For a year she tried to get pregnant but didn't. When Herx asked for more time off to undergo a second round of IVF treatments, she claims she was told her contract wouldn't be renewed.
“We’ve struggled trying to wrap our minds around what’s happened here, just because I was such a devoted teacher and I loved my job so much,” Herx said.
She says she met with the parish pastor asking him to reconsider, but according to her recent lawsuit he told her no and that she was a "grave, immoral sinner."
Several months later, Herx appealed to the bishop but he also refused.
The school is not commenting but the diocese released a statement saying in part it "has clear policies that require teachers in its schools must, as a condition of employment, have a knowledge of and respect for the Catholic faith, and abide by the tenets of the Catholic Church."
“We’re not arguing with the church about what its doctrines are,” Herx’ attorney Kathleen Delaney said. “The claim is based on the fact that employers need to respect anti-discrimination laws.”
Herx claims in the lawsuit no embryos were destroyed during her IVF treatments.
She not only wants her job back but is also asking for compensation for mental anguish and emotional distress.