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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Court to Decide if Catholic Midwives Can Refuse to Perform Abortions

  • Russ Jones
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2014 Nov 12
  • Comments

The freedom to refuse performing abortions is before the United Kingdom’s highest court. The Supreme Court in London will hear the case of two Scottish midwives who are defending their right to decline services that would require the life-ending procedure. 


According to Christian Today, Mary Doogan and Connie Wood, both of Scotland, claim the terminating procedure would "'violate their conscience".


"The midwives are to be commended for their courage and determination in standing up to an unjust requirement of the employer that they be involved in abortion procedures. As the judges state, the right of conscientious objection extends not only to the actual medical or surgical termination but to the whole abortion process," said Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow.


In 2012 the judge denied their case claiming the Catholic midwives did not have direct involvement in conducting an abortion. 


"Nothing they have to do as part of their duties terminates a woman's pregnancy,” said Judge Lady Smith. “They are sufficiently removed from direct involvement as, it seems to me, to afford appropriate respect for and accommodation of their beliefs."


The judge is expected to rule on the case next year.



Publication date: November 12, 2014