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A former nurse sued Eastern Illinois University on Wednesday claiming she was denied a promotion because she said she wouldn’t dispense morning-after pills. Andrea Nead told the school nursing director that she could not dispense the pills because she believes interfering with a fertilized egg’s implantation is a form of abortion, which is against her religious beliefs, according to her suit. Nead is suing the university’s board of trustees and its nursing director, seeking damages for lost income and benefits and punitive damages against the director. The suit claims violations of federal anti-discrimination laws and Nead’s constitutional rights to freedom of religion and equal protection. EIU spokeswoman Vicki Woodard said the university had not received a copy of the suit, but said that “the reason Andrea Nead was not hired was unrelated to dispensing the morning-after pill.” If taken within 72 hours of intercourse, the pill cuts a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant by preventing ovulation or fertilization and interfering with implantation of a fertilized egg into the uterus. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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