Catholic hospital’s nurses vote against joining pro-abortion union

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Fresno, May 29, 2008 / 08:03 pm (CNA).- Nurses at a Catholic hospital in Fresno have voted against joining a pro-abortion nurses’ union by a vote of 452 to 327.

The California Catholic Daily reports that nurses at St. Agnes Medical Center had debated whether to choose the California Nurses Association to represent them in labor negotiations.

Association president Deborah Burger personally observed the voting and the nurses’ association leaders had even brought a cake to celebrate the victory they expected.

The California Nurses Association had a large staff of paid, professional organizers working to win the vote. The association represents more than 60,000 nurses and has annual revenues of $60 million. The association could have collected nearly $1 million in annual dues had St. Agnes nurses voted to join.

Last year a group of St. Agnes nurses began a self-funded effort to oppose association organizers, citing the organization’s pro-abortion agenda. On May 15 nurses rallied against joining the association, saying the organization’s values conflicted with those of a Catholic hospital. They cited the association’s support even for partial-birth abortion.

St. Agnes Hospital chaplain Father Henry Williams also spoke out against abortion and urged nurses to consider the organization’s abortion position in deciding their vote.

“Some of the views of CNA just didn’t gel with the views and philosophy St. Agnes has and that was a huge concern for many of the voters,” Inge Schlegel, one of the nurses opposing the California Nurses Association, told KMPH-26 television news after the election.

Representatives from the California Nurses Association said they would challenge the results of the latest election, which had a 94 percent turnout. The medical center’s nurses had previously rejected association representation in 1998 by a margin of only six votes.

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