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Protection of Conscience Project

www.consciencelaws.org

Service, not Servitude
Background

INTERNATIONAL

Secret Memos Reveal Worldwide Pro-Abortion Legal Strategy

  • CFAM | The Friday Fax has acquired a number of internal memos produced by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) that map out CRR's multi-year strategy for establishing binding and enforceable international reproductive rights laws . . . CRR claims to have found, or "grounded," a right to abortion in the right to life, the right to health, even the right to enjoy scientific progress. CRR favors this approach because "there is a stealth quality to the work: we are achieving incremental recognition of values without a huge amount of scrutiny from the opposition."
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CANADA

Quebec's Charter of Values

Outline of government proposals and rationale (September, 2013)

  • In Quebec, the issue of religious accommodation is still not resolved. In her inaugural speech, Prime Minister Pauline Marois recalled that the issues raised by the "crisis" of reasonable accommodations were outstanding. The government has a firm commitment to clarify them. The proposals we submit meet this commitment.
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Government policy document (September, 2013)

  • Governmental guidelines for managing applications for religious accommodation, affirmation of the values of Quebec society and the secular nature of the state institutions.
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Preliminaries to the Charter: Implications of state sovereignty over education, religion and ethics

  • Sean Murphy | . . .Will the government of Quebec - sooner or later -  use its Charter of Values to suppress freedom of conscience and religion among health care workers?  An answer to the question is suggested by a review of the Quebec government's continuing efforts to establish state hegemony in the moral and ethical education of children.
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Promises, promises

Canadian law reformers promise tolerance, freedom of conscience

  • Sean Murphy |  With the passage of the Quebec euthanasia law and the pending case of Carter v. Canada in the Supreme Court of Canada, physicians, medical students, nurses and other health care workers opposed to euthanasia and assisted suicide for reasons of conscience are confronted by the prospect that laws against the procedures will be struck down or changed.  They may wonder what the future holds for them if that happens.  
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SWEDEN

Swedish Parliament declares itself against freedom of conscience

Swedish Parliamentary Debate: Freedom of conscience in health care.
Re: Resolution 1763(2010) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

  • 11 May, 2011 |  The Swedish Parliament debated a report referring to a resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which affirmed support for freedom of conscience for health care workers. The prospect that medical professionals and health care workers might exercise freedom of conscience horrified the Left Party and alarmed other Swedish political parties.  In the debate, Sweden formally set itself against freedom of conscience for health care workers, albeit in language less extreme than that advocated by the Left Party.
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Motion 2010/11:U298 - The Millenium Development Goals

  • Sweden's Left Party was horrified when the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe affirmed its support for freedom of conscience for health care workers  in October, 2010. In response, the Party proposed the following motion to the Swedish parliament. Among other things, it asserted that Sweden should "actively work to repeal the resolution."
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Foreign Affairs Committee Report 2010/11:UU12

  • This report from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Swedish Parliament was debated on 11 May, 2011. The part of the report relevant to a European Union resolution supporting freedom of conscience for health care workers is reproduced here.  The Foreign Affairs Committee recommended that Parliament formally advise the Government that it is critical of the resolution and wanted it changed.
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Presentation to Parliament 2010/11:ER1 -From Sweden's delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

  • The following extract from a lengthy report to the Swedish parliament refers to a resolution of the European Parliament affirming support for freedom of conscience of health care workers.
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Government Communication 2010/11: 54 - Presentation of the activities of the Committee of Ministers, etc. in 2009 and first half of 2010

  • As indicated by the following table of contents, this report to the Swedish parliament covers the activities of the Committee of Ministers at the European Union during 2009 and the first half of 2010. PACE Resolution 1763 supporting freedom of conscience for health care workers is not mentioned because it was not adopted until the fall of 2010, subsequent to the period covered by this report.
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UNITED STATES

2012

White House Press Secretary downplays revolt against HHS contraceptive mandate

  • The Obama adminstration announced on 20 January, 2012, that it would proceed with plans to force employers to pay for insurance coverage for "contraceptive services" (which include surgical sterilization and potentially embryocidal and abortifacient drugs and devices).  Various religious groups protested strenuously.  By the end of the month, over half the Catholic bishops in the country had denounced the plan; many said they would refuse to comply with the law.  A reporter at the White House press briefing called this  "a pretty extraordinary situation."  What follows is an annotated extract of the questions and answers on this topic during the news conference.
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2011

Abortion Ideology Trumps Aid for Victims of Human Trafficking

  • Jonathon Imbody* | . . . The decision to insist on submission to its abortion ideology as a condition for federal grants illustrates the depth of the administration's radical abortion policy and its increasingly obvious disdain for conscience rights and religious freedom. . .
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In good conscience: rebuttal revisits arguments

  • Prof. David Crockett* |. . . If my column "shattered" the "sense of safety" of certain individuals on campus, I would gently suggest they reexamine the place of political discourse at a university.. . .
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Threats to freedom of conscience could have far-reaching consequences

  • Prof. David Crockett* |. . . alas, the assault on conscience has begun, led by various forces in government, academia and pressure groups. The most common threats come in the areas of health care, religious integrity and nondiscrimination policies. . .
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2010

Objectors shouldn't work in emergency rooms:
Massachusetts Attorney General rejects accommodation of religious freedom

  • Radio interview  | . . . "I would not. . . pass a bill . . . to say that if people believe that they don't want to provide services that are required under the law and under Roe vs. Wade that they can individually decide to not follow the law. . ."
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2009

The Right of Conscience in the Age of Obama

  • Daniel Allott* & Matt Bowman* | . . .The anti-conscience movement has increasingly targeted pharmacists. According to Denise Burke of American United for Life, "The abortion lobby...recognize[s] that if [it] can establish legal precedent to coerce someone to violate their conscience regarding contraceptives, [it] can then easily extend that legal precedent to [RU-486], to coerce medical students to participate in abortion training, and to coerce doctors to participate in surgical abortion." . . .
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A Matter of Conscience: Obama weakens protections for medical professionals opposed to abortion.

  • Marilyn Musgrave* & Marjorie Dannenfelser* | . . .Many doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers will confront the dilemma of choosing between their conscience and their call to serve fellow citizens in our nation's hospitals and clinics. They will be forced to either violate their conscience and keep their jobs, or respect their beliefs and pay the price by leaving their careers. . .
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