Midwives who refuse to take part in abortions could be forced to leave the profession, the head of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has warned.
Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, condemned the decision of the Supreme Court last year against two senior midwives who refused to supervise abortions performed on a labour ward.
Glasgow midwives Mary Doogan and Connie Wood had asked the court to uphold their right to conscientious objection against supervising abortions, but allow them to continue in their roles in the NHS.
Mr Tully said, ‘The decision sadly makes it likely that senior midwives who refuse to kill babies will be forced to leave the profession. Junior midwives might still be able to work in labour wards where abortions are performed, but they will be restricted to staff midwife status at best’.
According to Mr Tully, senior midwives could be placed in an impossible situation by pro-abortion superiors, and be unable to receive promotion to a more senior role without fear of being required to violate their consciences.
In a statement, the midwives, who were supported in their legal battle by SPUC, said, ‘We are both saddened and extremely disappointed with the verdict from the Supreme Court and can only imagine the subsequent detrimental consequences that will result from today’s decision on staff of conscience throughout the UK.
‘This judgement, with its constraints and narrow interpretation, has resulted in the provision of a conscience clause which now in practice is meaningless for senior midwives on a labour ward’.