Sister Deirdre Byrne is the fearless and dynamic nun who spoke memorably at the Republican National Convention in 2020. Holding up a rosary, which she called her “weapon of choice,” she said, “As followers of Christ, we are called to stand up for life against the politically correct or fashionable of today.” She described Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the “most anti-life presidential ticket ever.”
Now Byrne, who has long helped the poor as a physician, is taking another principled stand against political correctness: she is suing the city of Washington, D.C., over its COVID vaccine mandate for health workers. The Thomas More Society is representing her in the case.
“Sister Dierdre has sought – and been denied – a religious exemption from DC’s health worker COVID-19 vaccination mandate,” says her attorney, Christopher Ferrara. “All three COVID-19 vaccines approved in the United States have been tested, developed, or produced with cell lines derived from abortions, something to which Sister Dierdre has deep and sincere religious opposition.”
The suit is “is based upon the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, both of which protect Sister Dierdre’s fundamental right to the free exercise of her religion,” says Ferrara. He calls the city’s denial of an exemption to her a “senseless bar on the practice of medicine by a religious sister who has devoted her career in the District of Columbia to healing the sick who cannot afford quality medical care.”
This is yet another example of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s abuse of “emergency powers.” The city knows perfectly well that Byrne poses no threat to patients. She has been tested and found to have natural immunity from contracting COVID previously. But it still told her that granting an exemption would constitute a “hardship” for the city. The only true hardship will fall on the poor deprived of her admirable services.