The European Court of Human Rights has refused to hear the case of two midwives in Sweden who were denied employment because they would not perform abortions.
Ellinor Grimmark and Linda Steen were turned down for midwifery positions because of their pro-life convictions.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International, which has been helping the women, described the decision as ‘very disappointing’.
Grimmark’s legal action began when a job offer from a women’s clinic was withdrawn after she revealed her opposition to abortion.
Steen was also refused employment after explaining her objections to a nursing unit manager.
Their cases were previously rejected by employment courts in Sweden.
Medical professionals should be able to work without being forced to choose between their deeply held convictions and their careers
Robert Clarke, Deputy Director of ADF International, said he was very disappointed by the Court’s decision.
“A positive judgment from the Court would have been an important step in the protection of the right to freedom of conscience.”
He added: “Medical professionals should be able to work without being forced to choose between their deeply held convictions and their careers.”
In the UK, a midwifery student is threatening legal action against her university after it cancelled her hospital placement over her pro-life views.
Julia Rynkiewicz was suspended from her placement after a lecturer at the University of Nottingham reported her involvement with the university’s Students for Life society.
Despite the allegations against her being dismissed, the university’s inquiry forced her to delay her studies. She will now graduate a year later than her peers and without access to student finance.