Bus driver claims anti-abortion views cost job

From the Austin-American Statesman. Austin (USA) - A former bus driver has sued the Capital Area Rural Transportation System, charging that the nine-county transit service discriminated against him based on his religion when he was fired for refusing to drive a woman to a Planned Parenthood clinic in January.

Edwin Graning, who was hired as a driver on April 1, 2009, was “concerned that he might be transporting a client to undergo an abortion” when he was assigned to transport two women to Planned Parenthood, according to his lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Austin.

Graning is seeking re-instatement, back pay and undisclosed damages for pain, suffering and emotion distress. He is represented by lawyers from the American Center for Law & Justice, founded by evangelical Christian leader Pat Robertson.

An official with the Capital Area Rural Transportation System said this morning that someone would return a request for comment later.

The system offers bus service on fixed routes and through requested pickup for residents in the non-urban areas of Travis and Williamson counties and in all of Bastrop, Burnet, Blanco, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays and Lee counties.

After he was dispatched to take the women, whose location was not included in the lawsuit, to Planned Parenthood in January, Graning called his supervisor “and told her that, in good conscience, he could not take someone to have an abortion,” his lawsuit said.

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