Cathy DeCarlo

Cathy DeCarlo

Nurse (New York)

Dec 1, 2018 1 min read

Cathy DeCarlo became a nurse to save lives, not to take them. When she was hired as an operating room nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, the hospital promised that she would not have to assist with abortions in violation of her Catholic faith. 

Her employer broke that promise in 2009. Cathy was instructed to prepare for a common procedure following a miscarriage but soon discovered that the procedure involved the abortion of a live, preborn 22-week-old infant. 

Cathy made calls up the chain of command, but found no support. Her superiors told her she would be charged with insubordination and abandoning her patient if she refused to assist in the abortion. 

Ultimately, Cathy was forced to assist the physician in dismembering the live baby. She then had to account for all of the pieces.

Cathy immediately filed a lawsuit against the hospital—and a subsequent complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—for forcing her to violate her conscience. As a result of the lawsuit and HHS’s investigation, the hospital changed its policies to respect the rights of Cathy and all her colleagues to decline to participate in abortions.1


  1. Alliance Defending Freedom, “Cenzon-DeCarlo v. The Mount Sinai Hospital,” (accessed March 19, 2018).

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