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Protection of Conscience Project

www.consciencelaws.org

Service, not Servitude
Proposed Protection of Conscience Laws
Canada
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Nurses for Life

Proposed Amendment to the Criminal Code(1989)

Introduction
Nurses for Life is a national and non-denominational organization of nurses who oppose abortion. Its members recognize that under the law of Canada in its present and proposed form abortions are being and will continue to be performed in the hospitals in which they work.

This reality affects nurses and other health care workers in two ways. First, they may be compelled, at the risk of losing their jobs, to assist in an abortion procedure despite their personal beliefs. Second, even where their personal beliefs are accommodated by their employers, they may suffer discrimination in the pursuit of their vocation.

Nurses for Life believes that freedom of choice of nurses and other health care workers is entitled to respect and protection. Legislation for conscientious objectors is urgently required, and is a moral imperative.

Such legislation should involve two elements. The first is the protection of conscience; no person should be compelled directly or by threat of penalty to be an unwilling participant in an abortion procedure. The second is the right to protection against discrimination; no person should be impeded in his or her career path by an exercise of personal conscience. [Nurses for Life]

Proposed Amendment
to the Criminal Code

s.289 Every person who directly or indirectly requires a physician, nurse, staff member or employee of a hospital or other health care facility to perform or participate directly or indirectly in an abortion procedure is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

s.289.1 Every person who directly or indirectly discriminates in any manner against a physician, nurse, staff member or employee of a hospital or other health care facility or against an applicant for such position who expresses an unwillingness or a refusal to perform or participate in an abortion procedure is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

 

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