Human Rights

Pro-life nurses in UK win right not to participate in abortions

Good news out of Britain, via the UK Telegraph:

Photo: Franciscan.edu

The case is believed to be the first in which the Equality Act has been used successfully to defend a “pro-life” position as a philosophical belief and could have implications for other Christian medical staff.

The nurses, who are both from overseas and do not wish to be identified, were moved from their normal nursing duties at a London hospital to work once a week at an abortion clinic.

They were required to administer two drugs to pregnant women – Mifepristone and Misoprostol – to cause an induced miscarriage. The process, known as “early medical abortion”, is an increasingly common method of terminating a pregnancy and does not involve surgery.

When the nurses discovered that they were participating in abortions they objected but were told by managers that they must continue with the work.

One hospital manager allegedly told the pair: “What would happen if we allowed all the Christian nurses to refuse?”

Then the nurses got help from lawyers who specialize in defending religious liberty:

However, the hospital later backed down after the Thomas More Legal Centre, which specialises in religious discrimination cases, took up their case.

After receiving a letter from the centre, the hospital initially told the nurses that they would be excused from administering the abortion-inducing drugs but would have to remain working at the clinic.

The nurses’ lawyer, Neil Addison, wrote again to the hospital stating that the nurses would still be “morally complicit in abortion” if they continued to work in the clinic as nurses in any capacity. The hospital eventually conceded and the nurses were allocated to other duties.

I hope that nurses and doctors here in the United States facing similar efforts to coerce them into being complicit with or performing abortions will pursue the legal means at their disposal to defend their pro-life principles.

[Cross-posted at CatholicVote.org]

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