Pro-life midwife can be forced to do abortions, court rules
JÖNKÖPING, Sweden, April 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Swedish midwife who has fought for years not to be required to participate in abortions as part of her job lost her case today at the Swedish Labour Court of Appeal. If she wants to continue fighting, her next option is the European Court of Human Rights.
Ellinor Grimmark, a Christian, had originally been offered a job at Höglandssjukhuset women's clinic in Eksjö, southern Sweden after completing an internship there in 2013. But after she stated that she was unwilling to participate in abortions, the job offer was rescinded. Two other maternity centers also rejected her, based upon her pro-life convictions.
She sued in local court, and although the court determined Grimmark's rights had been violated, it ultimately ruled against her in 2015 because maternity centers have a "duty to ensure that women have effective access to abortion."
Grimmark was ordered to pay the local government's legal fees, which were more than SKr 1m (over $100,000 USD).
In April 2016, Grimmark appealed this decision. Today's ruling against her means "the Court has failed to protect Ellinor Grimmark’s fundamental right to freedom of conscience despite the clear legal protections that exist in international law," said Robert Clarke, director of European advocacy for ADF International.
"The desire to protect life is what leads many midwives and nurses to enter the medical profession in the first place," continued Clarke. "Instead of forcing desperately needed midwives out of a profession, states should look to safeguard the moral convictions of their staff. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has affirmed that 'no person, hospital or institution shall be coerced, held liable or discriminated against in any manner because of a refusal to perform, accommodate, assist or submit to an abortion.'"
Grimmark has had to commute to Norway, which has stronger conscience protection laws, to work.
"This is a waste of resources and a shortage in democracy," Scandanavian Human Rights Lawyers says on its page about her case.
Grimmark has not yet said whether she'll take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.