A federal judge has significantly reduced the nearly $2 million in damages awarded to a former teacher fired by a Roman Catholic diocese for trying to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization.

The Journal Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1ALs2B7 ) that Monday's decision decreased Emily Herx's $1.9 million judgment in her civil rights lawsuit to just less than $544,000.

Herx taught at a diocese school. A federal jury in Fort Wayne found last month that diocese officials discriminated against her when they declined to renew her contract in 2011 because she had undergone IVF.

The diocese argued that church teachings say the medical procedure is gravely evil and never justifiable. In vitro fertilization involves mixing an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish and transferring the resulting embryo into the womb.

___

Information from: The Journal Gazette, http://www.journalgazette.net