A woman working for a health-services agency in Houston who was told to violate her personal religious beliefs in order to teach about contraceptives has agreed to settle her case against the company.
WND reported last winter that there are few fights over faith where the issue was so succinctly defined as in the dispute between Alexia Palma and Legacy Community Health of Houston, where one of the hospital officials told Palma employees must “put aside their own personal beliefs or views” to work there.
The issue was Palma, as a faithful Catholic, for months had been allowed by the hospital to use a video for a small portion of her health-teaching responsibilities to address contraception, since advocating for that violated her faith.
But a new supervisor abruptly refused to continue the accommodation, and told Palma that it was either violate her faith – or be fired.
Officials at First Liberty, who have been working on her behalf, now have revealed the woman who was fired over her religious convictions has “reached a settlement with her former employer.”
The legal defense team said the terms of the settlement are confidential.
“I loved my time with Legacy Community Health Services and appreciate the effort its leadership has invested to positively resolve this situation,” she said in a statement released by First Liberty.
“Legacy Community Health Services showed leadership by respecting free speech and religious liberty in the resolution of this matter,” added Hiram Sasser, First Liberty deputy chief counsel.
Her team explained one of LCH’s topics in the “Being a Mom” course focused on birth control, including the use of emergency contraceptives such as Plan B and Ella – but it was less than 2 percent of Palma’s job.
For an extended time she showed a video for that part of the class. But that accommodation suddenly with withdrawn by managers, and she was told to “put aside” her faith.
But the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects employees from religious discrimination, her lawyers noted.
When the argument developed, WND reported it was in an email from Amy Leonard, vice president of public health services at Legacy Community Health in Houston, to Alexia in which she said, “We discussed how sometimes employees may need to put aside their own personal beliefs or views in order to meet the job requirements. Part of your job as a Patient Educator is to provide quality education to patients on a variety of topics including family planning.
“This includes not only playing a video on family planning and providing a brochure, but also being willing to lead a comprehensive discussion regarding the information provided and answer any questions participants may have about the video.”
The hospital not only had initially ordered her to be at a meeting at Planned Parenthood, the biggest player in the nation’s abortion industry, but lead that event, on the topic of family planning.