If soldiers can object to using weapons, why can’t health professionals refuse to assist at abortions?
In 2011, the European Council adopted a resolution that protects healthcare workers’ right to freedom of conscience regarding abortion and euthanasia. Sweden has signed this agreement. But reality paints a different picture. Out of the 47 member states in the European Council, Finland and Sweden are the only two which do not uphold freedom of conscience in practice.
Ellinor Grimmark, 37, is the first midwife in Sweden to report a hospital to the Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) concerning abortion. She claims to have been discriminated against on the basis of her religious beliefs and moral convictions. Newly-graduated, she was fired from her position last summer because she refused to assist abortions. Even though there is a shortage of midwives at the moment, and even though she is willing to take on double shifts, she has been denied a job ever since. One employer had first agreed to hire her in spite of the “complication”, but withdrew the offer when her story began to spread in media.