Friday 20 April 2012

Midwives launch appeal in defence of conscience rights

Two Glasgow midwives who were told in February that they had to supervise abortions, regardless of their conscientious objection, have launched an appeal against the decision. The judge in the Scottish Court of Session told the midwives, Mary Doogan and Connie Wood, both labour ward sisters, that the conscience clause in the Abortion Act would exempt them from hands-on involvement in abortions, but as senior midwives they had to accept management instructions to oversee abortions performed by other midwives on the labour ward.

A small but increasing number of abortions are being transferred to labour wards in line with national policies against disability. Screening and offering abortion for disabled babies is regarded as a cost-effective measure, and hospitals are encouraged to offer tests for disability. 

The costs of Glasgow midwives' legal action are being underwritten by SPUC. People wishing to make donations towards the midwives' legal costs should telephone SPUC on +44 (0)20 7091 7091.

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