Ohio judge OKs fired pregnant teacher's lawsuit

generic gavel, court decision, ruling
Getty Images

(CBS/AP) CINCINNATI - A federal judge has given the go-ahead for trial in a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Cincinnati by a Catholic school teacher fired after she became pregnant through artificial insemination.

The archdiocese fired Christa Dias in 2010, saying the single woman violated Roman Catholic Church doctrine by using artificial insemination.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Spiegel says in his ruling last week that Dias was a non-Catholic computer teacher with no role in ministering or teaching Catholic doctrine.

An archdiocese spokesman says that parents who pay to send their children to Catholic school expect them to be taught in an environment reflecting Catholic moral teaching and that employee contracts specify they will abide by church teachings.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Dias wants compensation for medical bills and other expenses in a case that could set a national precedent.

"I hope that it stops them from doing it again," Dias told the Enquirer.

She said she was fired after telling the Archdiocese she was five and a half months pregnant and needed to go on maternity leave.

The Enquirer reports Dias was initially fired for being single and pregnant but once her employer found out that could violate anti-discrimination laws, both federal and state, she was fired for being artificially inseminated, which is considered "gravely immoral" by the Roman Catholic Church.

"I hope that people in my situation say this is not appropriate to do," she said.