A doctor in Norway has lost her job after taking a stand for the sanctity of life.
Dr Katarzyna Jachimowicz refused to comply with demands that she administer abortifacient devices, when told to choose between following her conscience or keeping her job.
A petition in support of Dr Jachimowicz has been signed by more than 50,000 people, but is yet to receive a response from the Norwegian Government.
“I simply wanted to be a regular family doctor. I found myself with a choice and couldn’t act differently,” Jachimowicz said in an interview with religious news website DEON.PL.
When Jachimowicz first started working in Sauherad in Norway, conscience protections were in place for medical professionals.
Life begins at conception and I did not want to take part in destroying it
Her employers had accepted that she would not refer her patients for abortions or administer abortifacient methods of birth control, such as IUDs.
“Life begins at conception and I did not want to take part in destroying it,” she told them.
“All present agreed to my conditions, but I did not ask for written confirmation, knowing that an oral agreement is valid as well”.
However, after several teenagers were refused birth control pills by another Roman Catholic doctor, a public campaign against pro-life doctors began.
It led to the law being changed in 2014 when the conscience clause for family doctors was altered, making it illegal for doctors to refuse to provide any form of birth control.
Jachimowicz, also a Roman Catholic, was asked to give up her job or abandon her conscience. After refusing to do so, she was fired in December 2015.
She is currently undertaking legal action to contest her dismissal supported by the Norwegian Christian Medical Association. It is the first ever case on this issue in Norway’s courts.
Jachimowicz said: “There are more and more ethical questions in medicine. More and more doctors will face dilemmas similar to mine.”