A teacher plans to sue her former school after allegedly losing her job for falling pregnant out of wedlock — and then refusing to have an abortion.
Michelle Bolen had worked for St Therese Catholic School in Kansas City, Missouri in the US for 15 years before discovering her contract had not been renewed for the 2015/16 school year.
Months earlier, Ms Bolen and her then-fiance discovered she was expecting, and the primary school teacher broke the news to Father Joseph Cisetti, who was her pastor and also her boss.
According to Ms Bolen, Fr Cisetti initially praised her for keeping the child, allegedly saying the baby could not be "return(ed) to sender".
However, he then allegedly said if she had gone through with an abortion, the school would not have had to deal with the "scandal" of having a pregnant and unmarried teacher on the payroll.
According to the Kansas City Star, the priest allegedly also said Ms Bolen had violated her contract by falling pregnant before marriage, claiming: "Pregnancy is not the problem. Fornication is."
A clause of her contract included the pledge that: "As a teacher in a Catholic school, I am directly involved in the formation of youth in the name of the Catholic Church.
"In carrying out these solemn responsibilities as a teacher, I will conduct myself in a manner that does not contradict her doctrinal and moral teachings. I understand, by entering into this contract, that I freely adhere to and shall carry out my responsibilities faithfully in accordance with the requirements of church law."
But Ms Bolen's lawyer E.E Keenan said her sacking was a breach of the 1986 Missouri Abortion Act, which states women can't lose their jobs for refusing to have an abortion.
"He's basically speaking out of both sides of his mouth," Mr Keenan told the Kansas City Star.
"(There's) one thing being preached and another done."
The case is already underway in the US, and last week, a court heard from several of Ms Bolen's colleagues who complained about her professional conduct over the years.
One, Emily Keefe, said she "felt like she wasn't pulling her weight on the team" and allegedly regularly left her Year One students unattended, the publication reported.
A jury will decide whether the teacher was unfairly dismissed or not later this month.