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Swedish court says pro-life midwife must assist in abortions to keep her job

(YouTube/Gråbröderna i Sverige)Ellinor Grimmark appears in a screen capture of a video from Gråbröderna i Sverige.

A pro-life midwife who has fought a legal battle to be exempted from performing abortions lost her case on Wednesday after the Swedish Labour Court of Appeal ruled that she must either assist in abortions or lose her job.

Ellinor Grimmark was offered a job as a nurse at Höglandssjukhuset women's clinic in Eksjö after she completed her internship there in 2013. However, the job offer was rescinded when she revealed that she was unwilling to participate in abortions, according to Life Site News.

Grimmark filed a lawsuit in a local court, which determined that her rights had been violated. However, the court ruled against her in 2015 citing the duty of maternity centers to "ensure that women have effective access to abortion."

She had no other choice but to appeal after she was ordered to pay the local government's legal fees amounting to more than one million Swedish Krona (over US$100,000).

"As a midwife, I want to exercise a profession which defends life and saves lives at all cost," Grimmark said in a statement. "Somebody has to take the little children's side, somebody has to fight for their right to life," she added.

Robert Clarke, director of European advocacy for ADF International, said that the appeals court ruling was a failure to "protect Ellinor Grimmark's fundamental right to freedom of conscience despite the clear legal protections that exist in international law."

"The desire to protect life is what leads many midwives and nurses to enter the medical profession in the first place. Instead of forcing desperately needed midwives out of their profession, governments should safeguard the moral convictions of medical staff," Clarke added.

Life News reported that three other medical clinics in the district of Jönköping have rejected Grimmark because of her refusal to assist in abortions.

Värnamo Hospital's women's clinic reportedly offered her a job, but it was withdrawn because of the complaint she filed against Höglandssjukhuset.

When she applied for a job at the Ryhovs women's clinic, she was reportedly told that anyone who refuses to perform abortions does not belong at a woman's clinic.

Grimmark has been making the long commute to work in Norway, where there is a stronger protection for freedom of conscience.

Clarke said that the nurse is now considering an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

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