News from Europe

EU court refuses to hear case of Christian nurses who refused to perform abortions

The European Court of Human Rights has refused to take up the case of two Swedish nurses who were denied midwife jobs because they were not willing to perform abortions. A Christian law firm called it a “dangerous departure from the Court’s purpose in protecting fundamental freedoms.” The court’s decision cannot be appealed.


The court said the case of the nurses, Ellinor Grimmark and Linda Steen, who were retrained as midwives but were not given jobs due to their religious beliefs against carrying out abortions, was inadmissible to be heard by the EHRC, according to Reuters.

The Christian midwives had claimed that authorities violated the European Convention on Human Rights by refusing jobs to them. 

A Swedish pro-choice group, RFSU, celebrated the rejection of the case. “It is not a human right for nursing staff to refuse to provide care,” said RFSU’s Hans Linde. “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.”

However, Grimmark said she chose to become a midwife “because I wanted to help bring life into this world.”

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