Abortion Ad Signing Not Protected Job Activity

July 31, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A former Wilmington, Delaware, English and religion teacher at a private Catholic school lost her bid to regain her job when a federal appellate court rejected her claims that her pro-choice abortion activities were legally protected.

The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by Judge Kent Jordan of the US District Court for the District of Delaware, throwing out allegations by plaintiff Michele Curay-Cramer that Ursuline Academy violated her federal rights.

Curay-Cramer charged that her rights were infringed upon when she was fired after signing an advertisement in the Wilmington newspaper on the 30 th anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s Roe versus Wade abortion decision.

According to the court, administrators told Curay-Cramer she could recant her pro-choice position, resign or be fired.

Curay-Cramer chose to be fired but sued the school for wrongful termination, since she claimed her action in signing the advertisement was protected conduct as a legitimate protest.

In upholding Jordan, the appellate judges said that Curray-Cramer was not involved in a public policy protest because the ad did not directly criticize the school’s policies or mention discrimination issues because of pregnancy or gender issues.

The case is Curay-Cramer v. Ursuline Academy, 3 rd US Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 04-4628 (6/7/06). The ruling is  here .