Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers, in coalition with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International, will hold a parallel event at the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Thursday to call upon European nations to respect the fundamental right to freedom of conscience within the medical profession.
At the event, Ruth Nordström, president of Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers and lead counsel in the case Grimmark vs. Jönköping City Council, will discuss the lack of conscience protections under Swedish law. The midwife Ellinor Grimmark, client in the case, will answer questions about the situation in Sweden. Mrs. Nordström and Mrs. Grimmark will be available for media interviews together with two ADF International lawyers.
“Sweden has failed to develop a comprehensive and clear regulation that defines and regulates conscientious objection at the workplace, in particular for health care providers,” Nordström explains. “Swedish medical workers are being reprimanded, repositioned, fired, and put at a disadvantage in other ways as well. Their freedoms under international treaties are being violated.”
“No one deserves to be denied a job simply because they are pro-life,” said Ruben Navarro, ADF International’s director of UN Advocacy-Geneva, who will speak at the event. “International law makes it clear that being pro-abortion cannot be a requirement for employment, nor can medical facilities force nurses and midwives with a conscience objection to assist with practices that can lead to an abortion.”
“Willingness to commit an abortion cannot be a litmus test for employment,” added ADF International Senior Legal Counsel and Director of UN Advocacy Paul Coleman. “Medical clinics and hospitals need to respect the desire and conviction of a midwife or nurse to protect life – a desire that led Ellinor Grimmark and others like her to pursue the profession in the first place.”
The event will take place at 3 p.m. local time on Thursday, March 12 in Room VII, Palais Des Nations, Avenue de la Paix 14, Geneva, Switzerland