Medical Doctor Denied the Right to Conscientious Objection by Court

Country: Spain

Date of incident: April 19, 2011

A Spanish general practitioner from Antequera who opposes abortion was denied the right to claim conscientious objection in cases of abortion. The MD argues that his beliefs conflict with abortion advice or referral to women seeking pregnancy termination.

The judge Oscar Perez from the Malaga court understood that the doctor is a public employee and as a such, the duty to provide adequate health care prevailed and the doctor would be required to igve advice on abortion even if that meant to act against his conscience. Spanish abortion law allows the possibility of objection by professionals directly involved in the voluntary interruption of a pregnancy. However the judge insists that the clause only applies to those performing  abortions, and does not exempt a medical doctor to provide advice on how to get one.