32-year-old Emily Herx was medically diagnosed with infertily after the birth of her first child, but wanting more children she and her husband turned to in vitro fertilization.
At the time, Herx was a literature and language teacher at St. Vincent de Paul School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She says she told the school she was going to get IVF. For a year, Herx tried to get pregnant but didn't. When she asked for more time off to undergo a second round of IVF treatments, Herx claims she was told her contract would not be renewed.
She says she met with the parish pastor, Monsignor John Kuzmich, asking him to reconsider but according to her recently filed lawsuit, he told her no, that she was a "grave, immoral sinner".
Several months later, she appealed to the Bishop Kevin Rhoades, but according to her lawsuit the Bishop also refused, saying "in vitro fertilization...is an intrinsic evil, which means that no circumstances can justify it."
Mary Anne Case is a University of Chicago Law Professor, she says a suit like this is far from cut and dry.
"There are no parts here that just ordinary legal business there are people with very strong stakes personal, ideological um religious," Case says.
Emily Herx claims she's a victim of discrimination. The school refused to comment, but in a statement, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend denies there was any discrimination, rather that it "has clear policies requiring that teachers in its schools must, as a condition of employment, have a knowledge of and respect for the Catholic faith, and abide by the tenets of the Catholic Church."
The diocese says that it supports infertility treatments for its employees, but not in vitro fertilization which violates the church's right to life stance, adding "the Diocese views the core issue raised in this lawsuit as a challenge to the Diocese's right, as a religious employer, to make religious based decisions consistent with its religious standards on an impartial basis."
In her lawsuit, Herx says no embryos were destroyed during her fertility treatments. She wants her job back and is asking for compensation for mental anguish and emotional distress.