Connie and Mary are senior midwives from Glasgow. They are in the Supreme Court to defend their right to work while not being involved in abortions on the labour ward where they have been employed as Labour Ward Co-ordinators.
Connie and Mary, between them, have helped to deliver around 10,000 babies over the past 25 years.
History of the case
The dispute originated in changes of practice and workload in the labour ward of Glasgow's Southern General Hospital from 2007 and earlier, which led to senior midwives such as Mary and Connie being told to delegate, supervise and support staff midwives in carrying out abortions. This prompted a formal grievance process which ran from 2009-2011. The Health Board rejected Connie and Mary's request for their conscientious objection to be respected, and the midwives then sought judicial review. The Outer House of the Court of Session found against the midwives in 2012, but this decision was reversed on appeal by the Inner House in 2013. The Health Board then appealed to the Supreme Court, and the case is being heard on 11 November 2014.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has funded Connie and Mary's legal representation throughout the case. We are grateful that the generosity of our donors has enabled us to support them in their courageous stand in defence of midwives' rights of conscience.
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