Published On: Thu, Apr 26th, 2012

School Teacher Fired for Using Infertility Treatments

St Vincent de Paul School fired a school teacher for using infertility treatments, causing hardship for her entire family.

Emily Herx, the 32-year-old mother of one not only had to deal with the cost of infertility treatment, she never anticipated that she would lose her job in the process.

Herx is now suing the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and St Vincent de Paul School for discrimination, reported the Today Show Thursday. She says her dismissal for using IVF came unexpectedly.

“It’s been a very emotional time for both of us – actually my whole family,” Herx told Anne Curry on the Today Show. “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. [We were] just trying to expand our family. To have this happen was just awful.”

However, the church sees the case as a test of constitutional guarantees of religious freedom.

The diocese told the Today Show that it supports infertility treatments for its employees, just not in vitro fertilization, which the church believes contradicts its right-to-life beliefs.

“The Diocese views the core issue raised in this lawsuit as a challenge to the Diocese’s right, as a religious employer, to make religious based decisions consistent with its religious standards on an impartial basis,” the Diocese said in a statement.

The Diocese explained in a statement that the school denies that there was any discrimination and says that it “has clear policies requiring that teachers in its schools must, as a condition of employment, have a knowledge and respect for the Catholic faith and abide by the tenets of the Catholic Church.”

One of those tenets holds that IVF treatments are a sin because; the Dioceses explained they “frequently involve the deliberate destruction of freezing of embryos.”

According to Mary Anne Case, a law professor at the University of Chicago, the case is a complex one.

Emily Herx was a literature and language teacher at St. Vincent de Pau School and is seeking her job back as well as compensation for mental anguish and emotional distress.

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