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October 13, 2021

Liberty Counsel Sends Demand Letter to NorthShore University HealthSystem to Protect Conscience Rights

Some healthcare workers at NorthShore University HealthSystem have attempted to request religious exemption requests from the COVID shot mandate. When these exemptions are requested due to the association with aborted fetal cell lines that all available shots have, however, NorthShore has rejected them. Liberty Counsel sent a letter of demands to the NorthShore on behalf of 14 workers whom Liberty Counsel says "have been unlawfully discriminated against and denied religious exemptions from the COVID shot mandate."

According to Illinois Review, NorthShore had previously granted exemptions for some employees but then denied them in mid-September. The company then gave those employees three days to file an appeal, but it did not tell the employees what information was missing in the original application. The appeal required employees to provide vaccine history information that was not required in the initial application.

Illinois Review also reported that NorthShore changed the exemption form to include a warning that all exemptions based on “aborted fetal cell lines, stem cells, tissue or derivative materials will result in denials.” The form falsely claims that COVID shots have no connection to aborted fetal cell lines.

Liberty Counsel cited the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act that protects Illinoisans against discrimination based on health care choices. The law states:
“It shall be unlawful for any person, public or private institution, or public official to discriminate against any person in any manner, including but not limited to, licensing, hiring, promotion, or any other privileges, because of such person's conscientious refusal to receive, obtain, accept or participate in any way in any particular form of health care services contrary to his or her conscience”

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said in a statement, “NorthShore University Health System must obey state and federal law and grant reasonable accommodations to its employees whose sincere religious beliefs prohibit them from receiving these COVID shots. NorthShore must also revise its deceptive and unlawful religious exemption form.”

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