A woman is filing a lawsuit, alleging she was passed over a job as a professor due to her pro-life principles. Cynthia Isabell applied for a job at Indiana University-South Bend as a clinical assistant professor in obstetrics, and claims the chair of its search committee refused to hire her because she has spoken about being pro-life before.
According to UPI, Isabell claims to have suffered “viewpoint discrimination” by the faculty member leading the hiring committee, Assistant Dean of Nursing Teresa Dobrzykowski. During the interview, Dobrzykowski reportedly asked Isabell how she would handle controversial subjects with her students, and how she would incorporate science. Isabell was not the only one who interpreted the question as referring to abortion; another member of the search committee thought Dobrzykowski was talking about abortion, and reportedly stated during the interview that the position didn’t involve abortion. Another member of the search committee filed a complaint with IUSB’s Affirmative Action Office over the interview, saying her “inappropriate question” made them “legally vulnerable.”
Isabell said she believes the question was due to an article she wrote the year before the interview, titled “How a Formerly Pro-Choice Nursing Instructor Discusses Abortion with her Students.” In the article, Isabell explained that her position is based on her knowledge of logic, anatomy, and physiology, and not religion, as people often assume. Yet she also insisted that she doesn’t ask her students their own opinions on abortion, writing, “I don’t want them to fear that their position might affect how I grade them.”
Dobrzykowski said she didn’t hire Isabell because of her lack of teaching experience. However, she has a doctorate in nursing and education, worked as a staff nurse for over 40 years, and as an adjunct clinical instructor for over 20 years. Dobrzykowsi, meanwhile, has worked with Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion chain, for over 30 years.
In the university’s motion to dismiss, they claim that Isabell’s claims were based on nothing but speculation, and that Dobrzykowsi is, in fact, pro-life herself. “Contrary to Dr. Isabell’s ‘assumption,’ it is undisputed that Dr. Dobrzykowski is pro-life and that, although she did work at Planned Parenthood on and off over several years, the Planned Parenthood clinics at which she actually worked did not (and do not) perform abortions,” the brief read. That argument seems difficult to believe, considering that two members of the hiring committee found Dobrzykowski’s questioning to be inappropriate.
Isabell is being represented by the American Center for Law & Justice, and the case is expected to go to trial next year.
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