Comments: UK Supreme Court Rules Against Conscientious Objection of Midwives
Paul Moynan, Director of CARE for Europe, comments on the appeal by the Greater Glasgow Health Board against two midwives who objected to taking part in the process of abortion, based on their religious conviction of the value of life from conception onwards. They lost their case because it was ruled that the supervision of staff, patient care and administration were not deemed to be covered by the conscientious objection clause, but only the actual abortion procedure itself.Read details of case here... "Abortion is illegal in the UK. It is only permitted in certain
circumstances under 1967 Abortion act, and the 1990 Human
Fertilisation and Embryology Act.
The European Convention on Human rights grants a freedom of religion
clause (article 9), allowing expression of religious faith, not only
in a private manner, but in the whole of the person's life. The limit
on this comes where the needs of democratic society, public safety and
public order and the protection or rights and freedom for others come
into play. Today's judgement interprets this limit to include the
full care of patients seeking abortions.
Under previous rulings Doctors cannot object to signing assessment
forms or referring patients to others for abortion, even if they
themselves are opposed to the practice. This ruling further limits
that provision, even stating that the booking in, full patient care,
pre and post abortion, and even the providing of the abortifacient
medication to the patient, could not be considered as 'taking part in
the termination procedure'.
In seeking to justify such inclusions the judges rehashed the
falsehood that without 'safe abortions' patients would be using
backstreet abortion facilities, or that patients in approved medical
premises would be in danger of grave permanent injury if all midwives
were not overseeing staff, covering breaks and taking care of the
physical and mental health of the patient.
It is ironic that a practice of bad medicine, (one where no medical
proof has been produced to demonstrate that this practice benefits
either patient), should be foisted on public servants seeking to bring
health to mother and baby. The rights and freedoms of women feeling
they have no alternative but to abort and again put above the rights
and freedoms of those with religious conviction, and a sound
scientific understanding of human development." Paul Moynan
CARE for Europe