An Indiana Catholic School teacher is suing the diocese because school officials allegedly fired her for undergoing in vitro fertilization in violation of the Church’s teachings. Emily Herx, a teacher in Fort Wayne, Indiana, received favorable evaluations during her eight years of teaching literature and language arts at the Catholic school. When she learned she was infertile in 2010, she requested time off for IVF treatments and was granted the time. The school’s principal told Herx, “you are in my prayers” and Herx took this as approval. However, when she requested time off for a second round of treatment in 2011, she was fired.
After asking for the time off in 2011, Herx was told to attend a meeting with the pastor, Msrgr. John Kuzmitch, along with her husband and father. Herx says Kuzmitch called her a “grave, immoral sinner” in the meeting and he fired her. Herx appealed to Bishop Kevin Rhoades, but, according to the lawsuit, he told her that “the process of in vitro fertilization very frequently involves the deliberate destruction or freezing of human embryos” and it “is an intrinsic evil, which means that no circumstances can justify it.”
Herx maintains that no embryos were destroyed during the treatment. Her lawyer asserts that Herx was “terminated only for trying to enlarge her family with [her] husband.”
CNN 4/26/12; ABC News 4/25/12; Huffington Post 4/25/12