Press statement from the Thomas More Legal Centre 29 February 2012:
Court ruling will make all Medical Staff complicit in abortion
Commenting on the ruling by the Edinburgh Court of Session in the case of Mary Doogan and Concepta Wood, Neil Addison, the director of the Thomas More Legal Centre, said:
“The case is yet another example of the way in which the UK Courts are interpreting s9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Freedom of Religion) in the most limited and restrictive way possible. The courts have not hesitated to use the convention to protect murderous terrorists but have refused to use it protect two midwives who do not want to kill unborn children.”
“What is more surprising is the extremely restrictive interpretation the judge has put on the Conscientious Objection clause in s4 of the Abortion Act. As the judge has interpreted s4 believing Catholics, Muslims and others will never be able to take any form of supervisory or management role as midwives or nurses unless they are prepared to be complicit in the provision of abortions.”
“This decision is in stark contrast to recent decisions in the United States’ courts which have applied the American First Amendment to protect the conscience rights of pharmacists who refused to dispense the morning-after pill.”
Since the birth of my first daughter it was my desire to go into midwifery. I made several enquiries, spoke to University admissions departments and was offered unconditional places. I discovered that there could be no guarantee that I would be exempt from participation in abortion procedures. Today’s ruling legally confirmed that. Catholics may not be midwives. Though we cannot claim persecution, it is a worrying state of affairs when religion disbars one from a profession. To deny reasonable exceptions (after all midwifery has never been concerned with the killing of babies) is, if not a form of oppression, a form of serious discrimination.
Ironic for a society that prides itself for its tolerance, diversity and anti-discrimination. There can be no freedom of conscience in the sphere of medical ethics it would seem. All must obey and/or be dammed. I sincerely hope that this decision is reversed on appeal.