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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2013-04-25 16:27:38
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Scottish midwives win right to refuse any involvement in abortion

(April 25, 2013) Two Scottish Catholic midwives have won the right to refuse to supervise, delegate or support staff involved in abortions. The judgment by the Scottish court of appeal overturned an earlier decision which ruled that midwives Mary Doogan and Concepta Wood had no right to conscientious objection for involvement in abortions at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland. Lawyers for the employers, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, had successfully argued at the Court of Session in February 2012 that the Section 4 conscience clause of the Abortion Act 1967, applied only to direct involvement in the procedure. But in their unanimous ruling, published on April 24, three judges of the Scottish Court of Appeal said: "The right of conscientious objection extends not only to the actual medical or surgical termination, but to the whole process of treatment given for that purpose." Afterward, the midwives issued a joint statement saying they were "absolutely delighted" by the decision.
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow said in a statement from Rome that the ruling was "a victory for freedom of conscience and for common sense. I hope that many pro-life health professionals will take heart from this judgment and have the courage to express their own objections if and when they are asked to carry out tasks which are morally wrong and violate their conscience," he added.


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