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Published On: Fri, Apr 28th, 2017

Europe: Midwife loses freedom of conscience case, will appeal Swedish law to not be forced to perform abortions

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In November 2013, a job offer Grimmark received from a women’s clinic was withdrawn after it became known that she opposed abortion.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.

Now, with the help of legal counsel, Grimmark is appealing that decision.

According to The Christian Institute, Grimmark’s legal team believes her case could be a landmark one and could set a “huge precedent for freedom of conscience.”

“People should not be punished for making decisions in line with their conscience,” said Robert Clark, director of European Advocacy.

Clark added that ADF “will stand with her until her right to freedom of conscience is properly protected, in accordance with both Swedish and international law.”

photo Alyson Jones

In the UK, the Abortion Act 1967 includes a conscientious objection clause allowing doctors and nurses to refuse to participate in abortions.

In 2013, The Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled that two Roman Catholic midwives conscientious objection to abortions meant they had the right to refuse to delegate, supervise or support staff involved in abortions.

But after an appeal by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the UK Supreme Court overturned the decision the following year.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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