Swedish midwife Ellinor Grimmark has decided to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights over Sweden’s hard line on conscientious objection.
The Swedish Appeals Court decided earlier this month that the government can force medical professionals to perform and cooperate in abortions, or else be forced out of their profession. Because the ruling in Grimmark v. Landstinget i Jönköpings Län appears to contradict international law protecting conscientious objection, Grimmark wants to appeal to Strasbourg.
Three different medical clinics denied her employment because she will not assist with abortions. In Sweden, midwives are essentially nurses who specialize in pregnancy and child birth and seldom do abortions. It would have been relatively easy to find a way to accommodate Grimmark’s preferences.
However, the clinics’ intransigence has meant that Grimmark and her family have had to move to neighbouring Norway. “In the beginning, I was hoping to stay in Sweden,” she told Fox News. “But we have now made Norway home. I have a job here where they are not concerned with my beliefs.”
In November 2015, a district court found that her right to freedom of conscience had not been violated by refusing to employ her. That court even required her to pay the local government’s legal costs of 100,000 Euros (US$106,000).
“Participation in abortions should not be a requirement for employment as a medical professional. In accordance with international law, the court should have protected Ellinor’s fundamental right to freedom of conscience,” said Robert Clarke, of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF International), an American group which is helping with Grimmark’s case.Tags: Abortion, Abortion rights, Sweden