Defending the Right to Life in Europe and Abroad
Our affiliates around the world continue to stand up for the dignity of every human life, no matter how small. Whether working to help save child brides from sex abuse or defending Israel before the International Criminal Court (ICC), our work is increasingly global in nature.
And now, the European Centre for Law and Justice is fighting for the rights of midwives to conscientiously object to participation in abortions as late as 18 weeks and for any reason, including sex-selective abortions.
In their full release discussing the amicus brief filed in Sweden, the ECLJ discusses why this case is so important for pro-life advocacy throughout all of Europe:
The ECLJ recalled that international treaties and case-law put freedom of conscience and religion at the very core of human rights. The right to conscientious objection, that is to say the right not to be compelled to act against the dictates of one’s conscience, is a necessary corollary of the effective exercise of the right to freedom of conscience. The United Nations Human Rights Committee repeatedly affirmed that the right to conscientious objection is inherent in the right to freedom of conscience. Even if it firstly aimed at objection to military service, there is no doubt that it applies in the medical area when human life is at stake, especially in cases of abortion and euthanasia.
The European Court of Human Rights never impugns the right to conscientious objection in the medical area and requires States to establish mechanisms allowing to ensure effective respect of the right to freedom of conscience and access to legal medical services. The Court calls for reconciliation between concurring rights and interests. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has strongly asserted the right of medical staff to conscientious objection and the importance of accepting people of various beliefs without discrimination in the workplace. The PACE recommends accommodations allowing everybody to serve society while respecting their own convictions. European Union law also prohibits discriminations in employment based on religion or belief.
The ECLJ underlines that, even if some States may include abortion in legal medical care, there is no internationally recognised right to abortion. Abortion is not a constituent part of the profession of midwife. Moreover, both the code of ethics of the International Confederation of Midwifes and that of the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recognise the right to conscientious objection.
The ACLJ and our international affiliates continue our work around the globe to defend every life, no matter how small. Often times, this means fighting for religious liberty and fundamental human rights as well.
The European Centre for Law and Justice is an international, Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in Europe and worldwide. The ECLJ engages legal, legislative, and cultural issues by implementing an effective strategy of advocacy, education, and litigation. The ECLJ advocates in particular the protection of religious freedoms and the dignity of the person with the European Court of Human Rights and the other mechanisms afforded by the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and others.