First, abortion activists worked to end human rights for unborn babies. Now, they are attacking religious freedom by going after pro-lifers’ livelihoods.
This week, two Swedish nurses lost their years-long fight for religious freedom when the European Court of Human Rights refused to hear their appeal, according to the Christian Post.
Ellinor Grimmark (pictured) and Linda Steen are nurse midwives who have been denied jobs because they refuse to abort unborn babies.
“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 Alliance Defending Freedom International, said in a statement. “Although freedom of conscience is protected as a fundamental right in almost every other European country, the decision today marks a missed opportunity to uphold this important protection in Sweden.”
Reuters reports the court did not rule on the nurses’ religious freedom arguments; it refused to hear their case at all, allowing a lower court ruling against them to stand.
And because the European Court of Human Rights is the highest court in the matter, the nurses, both Christians, cannot appeal, according to the report.
Here’s more from the Post:
In 2017, a labor court said that “there had not been any violation” of her freedom of expression and opinion, despite the practice of abortion going directly against her religious beliefs.
The court also found that Jönköping County was within its rights to refuse Grimmark employment, as it has a requirement that all midwives working at women’s clinics carry out assigned duties, including abortion.
Meanwhile, the Swedish pro-abortion group RFSU cheered the court’s decision.
“It is not a human right for nursing staff to refuse to provide care,” spokesperson Hans Linde said. “This is an important decision that in the long term will help to protect women’s health, right to good quality care and to be treated with respect when seeking an abortion.”
Grimmark has been fighting in court for years to be allowed to work without participating in the killing of unborn babies. She had to seek work in another country because she refused to participate in abortions.
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Her problems began in 2014 when she was fired from her position because she refused to assist with abortions. Even though there was a shortage of midwives at the time and she was willing to take on double shifts, she said she was fired. When she sought work from other employers, Grimmark said three different medical clinics refused to hire her because she would not assist with abortions.
She filed a lawsuit to protect her religious freedom. In 2017, however, the Swedish Labour Court of Appeal refused to protect her freedom of conscience and instead found that Grimmark’s rights had not been violated. The court required her to pay the local government’s legal costs, amounting to more than 150,000 euros. She appealed the ruling.
“As a midwife, I want to exercise a profession which defends life and saves lives at all cost,” Grimmark said in a statement to the newspaper Aftonbladet, previously. “Are healthcare practitioners in Sweden to be forced to take part in procedures that extinguish life, at its beginning or final stages? Somebody has to take the little children’s side, somebody has to fight for their right to life.”
Not just in Sweden, abortion activists in America also are trying to erode religious freedom. They are fighting against a new Trump administration rule that protects the religious freedom and conscience rights of medical professionals who object to abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia. It allows taxpayer funding to be withheld from health care institutions that force medical professionals to help participate in these acts of killing.