UK Supreme Court rules health care workers must refer for abortion
Pro-life Britons seeking careers in the health professions suffered a disheartening setback this week as the British Supreme Court ruled that a conscience exemption in the Abortion Act applied only to medical personnel directly involved in abortions, reports LifeSiteNews.
“Essentially they are barring pro-lifers from the medical profession,” said Anthony McCarthy, educational director for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. In the works for seven years, it set two senior Scottish midwives, Mary Doogan and Concepta Wood, against their employer—and the British health establishment.
The two women released a statement of their own saying, “We are both saddened and extremely disappointed with today's verdict from the Supreme Court and can only imagine the subsequent detrimental consequences that will result from today's decision on staff of conscience throughout the UK.”
The SPUC is considering whether to appeal the decision to the European Court of Human Rights, but the latter body’s record on life cases is not encouraging, and the SPUC is not rich.
The British court was asked to decide if the two women, both managers of midwife services in their respective hospitals, could be exempted from referring midwives under them to assist at abortions being done in their ward. When the women were first promoted to their posts, their wards performed births only, but after a reorganization in 2007, abortions were added to the workload and they sought exemptions from assigning subordinates to abortions, citing the Abortion Act’s conscience clause.