Sweden is facing a midwife shortage — so much so that some parts of the country offer a monthly stipend to those training to be midwives. But apparently there’s not enough of a shortage to allow anyone espousing pro-life values to remain employed as a midwife in the country.
The Wall Street Journal reports today on the case of Ellinor Grimmark, a Christian midwife from Sweden who was blacklisted from doing the job she was trained to do, simply because she asked that her conscience rights be upheld. Grimmark refused to directly participate in abortions, and because of this, was eventually forced to relocate — not to another hospital, but to another country to practice midwifery.
The WSJ notes that while “Sweden’s 1974 abortion law protects freedom of conscience,” a court ruled against Grimmark in 2015, and she has appealed to higher courts. It is possible that the case could advance to the European Court of Human Rights, which typically affirms “freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.”
It is frightening that abortion has become so cemented as “healthcare” in Sweden that a person who refuses to assist in the killing of preborn children is unable to find work in the healthcare industry there, under the guise of “putting women first,” according to Grimmark. The WSJ gives a good example of how embedded the pro-abortion mindset really is:
[Grimmark] received a furious call from one manager. “How could you even think of becoming a midwife with these opinions?” Ms. Grimmark recalls the manager screaming. “What would you do if a patient who’d had an abortion came to you bleeding?” Ms. Grimmark tried to answer that she would help a woman in that condition, but the voice on the phone kept screaming. Ms. Grimmark was told she wasn’t welcome. A few days later a text message informed her that her stipend would be cut off.
Why do abortion advocates prop up this straw man? In doing so, they fundamentally misunderstand the pro-life ethic.
It is not reasonable to assume that a pro-life medical professional would refuse to help a woman after she had already had an abortion. Pro-lifers object to the direct, intentional taking of human life in abortion, and to the harm that abortion can do to women. Giving medical aid to a woman bleeding after her abortion is not taking a human life. In fact, it is the opposite. It is providing care to assure that another life is not needlessly lost.
The pro-life ethic asserts that both mother and child must be treated as valuable human beings. Yes, how dare Ms. Grimmark become a midwife while holding such values!
For this kind of ethic, Grimmark and other pro-lifers are subjected to slander:
Speaking at a panel on Islamist extremism in 2015, Mona Sahlin, a prominent politician and former government antiterror coordinator, argued that “those who refuse to perform abortions are in my opinion extreme religious practitioners” not unlike jihadists.
Such is the warped logic of the pro-abortion mind. Somehow, a person who refuses to kill children in the womb is like a jihadist — you know, someone who wages war on innocent people and takes as many human lives as possible.
No, sorry… I don’t see the connection. How is it “extreme” to refuse to kill another human being because you believe in nonviolent solutions and regard every life as valuable? The “jihadist” comparison is a complete and utter failure.
And of course, just as in America, Sweden’s pro-lifers are subject to mockery:
In January a TV segment framed Ms. Grimmark as part of “a global wave of oppression against women.” On another TV panel the same month, feminist writer Cissi Wallin mused, “Those who are against abortion now, can’t we abort them—retroactively?” Another panelist replied, “Yes, a really great idea!” The others chuckled.
Ah, yes. Another “feminist writer” who doesn’t actually believe women should be allowed have opinions or thoughts of their own. Heck no! Death should be their punishment for daring to have thoughts that don’t agree with a specific ideology! (Is it just me, or does that sound just a wee bit like what some oppressive regimes think of women? Hmm.)
Besides this, the irony here is rich. Basically, this “feminist writer,” in suggesting ‘retroactive abortion,’ is admitting that abortion is killing. She is admitting that she knows abortion eliminates… you know… actual people from existence. And I can’t really think of a more extreme form of oppression than killing someone.
Grimmark now practices midwifery in Norway (which allows for conscience rights), and says some Swedish mothers come there “because they know they will have a midwife there.” And in Sweden? “We’ve had mothers dying because they didn’t have midwives,” she says. “It’s crazy. It’s like Africa—but it’s Sweden.”
So while Sweden has taken great pains to assure that all midwives stick to the script when it comes to being willing to kill babies, women are being put at greater risk. These women deserve life-affirming care from dedicated professionals who will do everything they can to save both mother and child — dedicated professionals like Ellinor Grimmark.
The pro-abortion mentality helps no one. Women and their children deserve better — in Sweden, in America, and in the world.