Midwife Fired from Work for Refusing to Do Abortions

Ellinor Grimmark

A nurse in southern Sweden was fired in 2014 for refusing to participate in an abortion and she claimed religious discrimination as a result. The Swedish Appeals Court decided Wednesday that Ellinor Grimmark could be forced to help with abortions or else be fired from her job.

Grimmark says in a statement to the newspaper, ”As a midwife, I want to exercise a profession which defends life and saves lives at all cost. Are healthcare practitioners in Sweden to be forced to take part in procedures that extinguish life, at its beginning or final stages? Somebody has to take the little children’s side; somebody has to fight for their right to life. A midwife described to me how she had held an aborted baby in her arms, still alive, and cried desperately for an hour while the baby struggled to breathe. These children do not even have a right to pain relief. I cannot take part in this.” She added that other employers didn’t want to hire her because of her objection to abortions.

Four years ago, one women’s clinic rescinded a job offer as a midwife from Grimmark after she explained that she could not perform abortions because of her guilty conscience and her Christian faith. The head of the maternity ward said that “she was no longer welcome to work with them” and questioned “whether a person with such views actually can become a midwife.” After that, few women’s clinics wanted to hire her because of her stance on abortion.

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Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International Director of European Advocacy Robert Clarke says in a statement after court ruling: “Being pro-abortion should not be a requirement for employment as a midwife. The desire to protect life is what leads many midwives and nurses to enter the medical profession in the first place. Medical centers should respect that desire and conviction.” Grimmark is now considering taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights.

According to study.com website, main duties and responsibilities of midwives are the following: A certified nurse midwife's main duty is to assist women in all stages of pregnancy, childbirth and post-delivery. They also work closely with obstetricians and gynecologists in diagnosing and treating women with acute and chronic illnesses. Also, a midwife, during doing her job, would be involved in offering support and advice following events such as miscarriage, termination, stillbirth, neonatal abnormality and neonatal death. That’s why the court’s decision isn’t strange at all.

Photo Credits: British Broadcasting Corporation

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