Pro-life groups have claimed that the recent drop in applications to midwifery courses could be rectified by enshrining conscientious objection.
Recent figures show that there has been a 35 per cent drop in the number of applicants to midwifery courses since 2013. The Royal College of Midwives (RCM), which analysed the latest Ucas data for England, said the biggest reduction was in those aged 21 or over.
In 2013, more than 12,000 people aged over 21 applied for a midwifery course in England, but by 2017 that figure had dropped to just 6,700 – a decrease of 45 per cent. . . [Full text]
Pro-choice groups have condemned an attempt to create new laws that would allow doctors and nurses to refuse to take part in abortions on moral grounds.
A private bill going through the House of Lords that would expand rights of conscientious objection for healthcare professionals has been dismissed as unnecessary by abortion providers and campaigners.
Those in favour of the bill, sponsored by the Northern Irish crossbench peer Nuala O’Loan, insisted their aim was not to restrict abortion but to uphold freedom of belief and religion they claim is under threat in hospitals since a contentious supreme court ruling in 2014. . . [Full text]
A new Canadian organization for midwives has been formed. Canadian Midwives for Life describes itself as a not-for-profit group that attempts to speak for Canadian midwives “who recognize the dignity and inviolability of human life from the moment of fertilization.” Among the objectives of CMFL: “Understand their own personal boundaries in midwifery practice and the implications of conscientious objection.”
From June 12 to 15, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice heard legal arguments relating to conscience rights for doctors in Ontario. Five doctors and three physicians’ organizations want the court to declare portions of policies created by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) a violation of doctors’ rights enshrined in the Charter. A decision is expected later this year.
CPSO, the respondent in the case, has stated they may suspend or sanction a doctor that refuses to participate in an assisted suicide, which they — duplicitously in my opinion — call “medical aid in dying” (MAID). Euthanasiasts prefer the euphemism because “aid in dying” sounds softer and gentler than “kill.” But the true definition of MAID is palliative care, whose future as a medical discipline has been thrown into uncertainty by the CPSO’s bullish stance on assisted suicide.
The CPSO’s conscience-hostile position is both unnecessary and unjust. . . [Full text]
STRASBOURG, France – A Christian midwife filed her application with the European Court of Human Rights Wednesday against Sweden. Elinor Grimmark had to seek work in another country because she refused to participate in abortions. Because the Swedish courts have failed to recognize her freedom of conscientious objection, she is asking the European court to hear her case, Grimmark v. Sweden.
“The desire to help bring life into this world is what leads many midwives and nurses to enter the medical profession in the first place. Instead of forcing desperately needed midwives out of a profession, governments should look to safeguard the moral convictions of medical staff,” said ADF International Director of European Advocacy Robert Clarke. “Ellinor’s case could determine whether people who value life at all stages of development will be able to pursue a medical career in the future. Sweden has failed to protect this midwife’s fundamental right to freedom of conscience guaranteed by international law.”
Three different medical clinics had refused to employ Grimmark because she would not assist with abortions in light of her convictions about the dignity of all human life. On April 12, the Swedish Labour Court of Appeal refused to protect her freedom of conscience and instead found that Grimmark’s rights had not been violated.
The court required her to pay the local government’s legal costs, amounting to more than 150,000 euros. ADF International filed an expert brief in support of her case with the Swedish court, highlighting the protection for freedom of conscience that exists under international law.
“I chose the midwifery profession because I wanted to help bring life into this world,” explained Grimmark during a media background briefing in Strasbourg Wednesday. “I cannot understand why the Swedish government refuses to accommodate my conscientious convictions. I am now working in Norway, where my conscience is respected, but no one can explain why Sweden cannot do the same.”
ADF International is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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A Christian midwife is appealing her case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after she was denied employment opportunities due to her views regarding abortion.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is supporting Ellinor Grimmark of Sweden, arguing that various places of employment infringed on her freedom of conscience in their refusal to hire her due to her views on abortion.
In November 2013, a job offer Grimmark received from a women’s clinic was withdrawn after it became known that she opposed abortion. A similar scenario occurred in 2014.
Grimmark took her case to court in 2015, but the District Court of Jönköping ruled that freedom of conscience could only be invoked when a person is not religious. . . [Full text]
The Swedish midwife who lost her legal battle to be exempt from assisting in abortions—an act she has said violates her religious freedom—has decided to push her case to the European Court of Human Rights even though she likely will not return to Sweden.
“In the beginning, I was hoping to stay in Sweden,” Grimmark said in a phone interview with Fox News from her new home in Norway, where she moved two and a half years ago after she was let go from three different hospitals in Sweden. “But we have now made Norway home. I have a job here where they are not concerned with my beliefs.” . . . [Full text]
A leading Christian nurse is warning that nurses and midwives could find themselves under new pressures to be involved with abortions and other procedures that go against their conscience.
Steve Fouch, head of nursing with the the Christian Medical Fellowship Head of Nursing, warns in a blog of a challenge to the rules that allow doctors to opt out of abortions.
He is writing after a new study, headlined ‘Vacuum aspiration for induced abortion could be safely and legally performed by nurses and midwives’, questions the need for abortions to be carried out by doctors in the first place. . . [Full text]
In the latest bid to circumvent the increasing number of younger doctors being unwilling to perform abortions, a new report has challenged the need for some surgical abortions to be undertaken by doctors at all.
Sally Sheldon, a Law Professor at the University of Kent, has published a study into the 1967 Abortion Act and subsequent legal opinions to argue that in the case of vacuum aspiration (VAs), midwives or nurses should be able to carry out the procedure.
This, she argues is congruent with ‘recognition of nurse competences, follows government policy that patients should receive the right care, in the right place at the right time by appropriately trained staff, fits with guidance offered by relevant professional bodies, and offers the potential for developing more streamlined, cost-effective abortion services.’ . . . [Full text]