More than a dozen medical workers in upstate New York York sued the Empire State in federal court Monday, alleging the order that all nursing home and hospital workers be vaccinated is unconstitutional.
The 17 plaintiffs — most of whom are Catholic — claimed in court papers that they refuse to be inoculated “with the available COVID-19 vaccines, all of which employ aborted fetus cell lines in their testing, development, or production.”
The workers filed the suit using pseudonyms including “Dr. A.” and “Nurse A.” because, they claimed, their stance would lead them to be “vilified…as pariahs” by the news media — even though they were, “hailed as heroes by the media for treating COVID patients before vaccines were available.”
The suit, filed in federal court in Syracuse, alleges that the emergency vaccination order issued by the state Department of Health on Aug. 21 violates the plaintiffs’ right to the free exercise of religion under the First Amendment.
It also alleges violations of the US Constitution’s supremacy clause, under which federal law takes precedence over state law, and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits official discrimination.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Francis have both publicly said there is no moral issue with taking any of the vaccines approved by the CDC in the United States.
“One may receive any of the clinically recommended vaccines in good conscience with the assurance that reception of such vaccines does not involve immoral cooperation in abortion,” the USCCB’s Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities wrote in January.
The DOH began enforcing the mandate on Aug. 26, according to the suit, which names Gov. Kathy Hochul, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Attorney General Letitia James as defendants.
The suit seeks a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction barring further enforcement, as well as a judgment that the mandate is unconstitutional as written and an award of court costs and legal fees.
A representative from the state Department of Health told The Post the agency “does not comment on pending litigation.”
Reps for Hochul and James did not immediately respond.