A Catholic diocese in Indiana is denying that it discriminated against a school teacher who claims she was fired for using in vitro fertilization to try to get pregnant.
In court documents filed Monday, the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend asked a federal court to throw out Emily Herx's lawsuit which claims she was discriminated against because of her IVF treatment, the News-Sentinel reports.
“Herx's claim against the Diocese, as a religious employer, are barred, in whole or in part…under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States due to the religious content, purpose and meaning of her employment with the Diocese,” the papers said.
The mother claims the diocese discriminated against her by terminating her contract in April 2011 while she was undergoing in vitro fertilization. Herx taught at the school from 2003 through 2007 and again from 2008 until spring 2011. The school claims she was not fired but that her contract simply was not renewed.
The former English teacher claims that the Rev. John Kuzmich, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul called her a “grave, immoral sinner” for her actions, however, the church denies the accusations.
The 32-year-old mother appeared on the Today show in April with her husband Brian to speak about what she has described as discrimination.
Speaking to Ann Curry she said: “It's been a very emotional time for both of us and actually my whole family. We struggled trying to wrap our minds around what's happened here.
“Just because I was such a devoted teacher, and I loved my job so much. I was just trying to expand our family and to have this happen was just -- it was awful.”
“The unusual part about this is from day one at my interview, my employer asked me when I was going to start a family and how many kids I was going to have.
“After I got pregnant with my first son, she asked me when I was going to have another child. So she made it a very personal issue from the get-go.”
Watch ‘The Today Show’’ segment below: