Jury rules in favor of teacher in discrimination lawsuit

This undated photo provided April 25, 2012 shows Emily Herx, the Indiana teacher who says she was fired in June, 2011, from a Roman Catholic school for using in vitro fertilization. (AP Photo/Courtesy Kathleen DeLaney)

Emily Herx was a teacher at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School when she was notified by the Diocese that her contract for the 2011-12 school year would not be renewed because of her use of in vitro.

During the trial which began on Tuesday, Herx and her attorney claimed the loss of her job over in vitro fertilization treatments violated Title 7: discrimination of sex and pregnancy related medical conditions. They had asked for a judgment of almost $2 million. That would cover medical expenses, expected wages, benefits losses, punitive damages, and emotional pain and suffering. The jury awarded Herx $1.75 million for emotional and physical damages, $125,000 for medical expenses, $75,000 for lost wages and $1.00 in punitive damages.

File photo of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School
File photo of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School

The Diocese and its legal counsel argued that according to Church teachings in vitro is gravely evil, an intrinsic evil, and no circumstance can justify it and those beliefs apply to men and women who participate in the procedure.

In vitro fertilization, or IVF, involves mixing egg and sperm in a laboratory dish and transferring a resulting embryo into the womb.

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