Mariola O’Brien

Opinion

Abortion: just another task for Swedish midwives?

Mariola O’Brien
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April 14, 2014 (Mariola O'Brien) - Did you ever hear of a secretary who refused to write emails, but was willing to answer the phone? A medical doctor who was a very skilled surgeon, but didn't want to close the incision? Or a teacher who loved giving lessons, but wouldn't mark tests?
 
Well, in Sweden you can find everything! We have a Christian midwife who wants to deliver babies, but whose conscience doesn't allow her to perform abortions. According to the Discrimination Ombudsman (DO), the midwife Ellinor Grimmark will not be hired at any hospital for the simple reason that she is refusing to perform a task in her job description. Her religion has nothing to do with this. Neither does her conscience. Abortion is legal and therefore good and right. Abortion is a task performed by midwives and nobody escapes. Abortion is a neutral procedure, not an existential question. Period. Grimmark was not discriminated when denied employment. The case is closed and cannot be appealed. End of story.

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I really don't know whether to laugh or cry. How ridiculous and embarrassing, and yet how tragic! While the decision has serious consequences for Grimmark, considers the DO, it is necessary to ensure the rights and freedoms of others. That is, unintentionally pregnant women. And midwives are not people with rights?
 
“I expected this” says Grimmark to the newspaper Smålandsnytt. ”I didn't think that Sweden's Discrimination Ombudsman would dare to take this on, but I intend to pursue it further, the journey has only just begun.” The next stop is the European Court of Human Rights.

At the moment Grimmark works as a nurse, but is applying to midwife positions in Norway, where there is a conscience clause regarding abortion. Like in the rest of Europe.

Reprinted with permission from Mariola O'Brien

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