A U.S. District Judge, Da​vid Hurd, temporarily blocked the state from enforcing a requirement that healthcare workers receive the COVID-19 vaccines. Judge Hurd in Utica, New York, in a written order said he was blocking the mandate scheduled to take effect on September 27, because it does not allow for exemptions based on worker’s religious objections.

The mandate was issued on August 16 by former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said at the time that about 75% of the state’s roughly 450,000 hospital workers were fully vaccinated.
The order came in a lawsuit filed on Monday, September 13, by 17 health professionals, including doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who sued saying New York’s requirement violates their constitutional rights in various ways.

The plaintiffs are all Christians who say they object to receiving the vaccines because the cell lines of aborted fetuses were used in their testing and development.

The Judge gave New York state until September 22 to respond to the lawsuit in federal court in Utica. If the state opposes the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary court order blocking the vaccine mandate, a September 28 oral hearing will occur.

In their lawsuit, health care professionals disguised their identities with pseudonyms such as “Dr. A.,” “Nurse A.,” and “Physician Liaison X.” The lawsuit said the plaintiffs wanted to proceed anonymously because they “run the risk of ostracization, threats of harm, immediate firing and other retaliatory consequences if their names became known.”

They cited violations of the U.S. Constitution, along with the New York State Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law, because the state Department of Health regulation requiring workers to get the vaccine provided no exemption for “sincere religious beliefs that compel the refusal of such vaccination.”

The court papers said all of the available vaccines employ aborted fetus cell lines in their testing, development or production. But religious leaders have disagreed over the issue and not all religions say it is “morally acceptable.”

The plaintiffs, all Christians, including doctors, nurses, therapists, physician’s liaison, and other health care professional all oppose as a matter of religious conviction any medical cooperation in abortion, the lawsuit said. It added that they are not “anti-vaxxers” who oppose all vaccines.

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