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CHICAGO, Sept 24 (LSN) – An 18-year veteran of the Chicago police force was denied the right to refuse to stand on guard for an abortuary despite his religious convictions. Angelo Rodriguez,  a Roman Catholic police officer, had sought a court order in 1995 to allow him to avoid duty at the abortuary in his district, but the courts rejected the request.  Officer Rodriguez appealed the decision, only to have the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago again reject his plea to be true to his religious beliefs on Monday.  The Chicago Police Department maintained that the only way to ensure no duty was to transfer to a district without an abortion mill. However, David Shaneyfelt, lawyer for the pro-life officer noted that forcing him to accept a transfer would go against the officer’s contract rights. The appeals court said the Chicago Police Department had a responsibility to make “reasonable accommodation” of officers’ religious beliefs but that the offer to transfer districts was sufficient to fulfill the requirement.  Although police unions have in other circumstances bent over backwards to defend the rights of officers, in this case the police union was intolerant towards the officer’s plea. Bill Nolan,  president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said, “As a police officer, you have to go wherever they send you and do whatever they tell you to do.”  Mr. Shaneyfelt told the press that an appeal to the US Supreme Court was “likely.” Officer Rodriguez reflected on Monday’s decision saying, “I never realized when I took that oath 18 years ago that I would have to forfeit my religious beliefs.”

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