A lawsuit filed by some New Jersey nurses over abortions performed at a Newark hospital is headed back to court earlier than expected.

The 12 nurses sued the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey last month. They claim the hospital is forcing them to assist in abortions over their religious and moral objections.

A judge was scheduled to rule on the dispute in two weeks. But last Friday the hospital sent the nurses a letter saying it would hire additional staff to solve the problem.

That has prompted a court hearing next week.

The hospital says nurses aren't forced to assist in abortions but are required to perform duties such as taking medical histories and making sure patients have arranged a ride home.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)