Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bus Driver Fired for Refusing to Drive Woman to Abortion Clinic

By Kathleen Gilbert

AUSTIN, Texas, July 20, 2010 ( – An Austin area bus driver has filed a lawsuit against a rural transportation system after being fired for declining to drive a woman to an abortion clinic, citing a violation against his Christian beliefs.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court, accuses Austin’s Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) of having discriminated against Kyle resident Edwin Graning “on the basis of his religion.”

The native Texan told (LSN) that CARTS officials abruptly terminated him for declining to drive a woman to Planned Parenthood’s South Austin facility, after he discovered that the facility performed abortions.

Graning had asked his wife to call the facility; she heard a recording directing callers to call 911 in case of abortion complications. “I said, dear God in heaven, this woman’s gonna have an abortion,” he said.

Graning said that no protocol for orders to drive people to abortion clinics had ever been discussed. “I’m a Christian … I love the Lord and I’m not going to be a part of something like this,” said Graning, a former pastor. He pointed out that the woman quickly received a ride from another bus.

When he told his supervisor that he would not make the drive, Graning says the supervisor replied, “Then you are resigning.” He objected, but was later directed to bring his vehicle and belongings back to CARTS, and received a letter of termination on grounds of insubordination.

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