EUROPE – Freedom of conscience in Europe? An analysis of three cases of midwives with conscientious objection to abortion

While abortion has been legal in most developed countries for many years, the topic remains controversial. A major area of controversy concerns women’s rights vis-a-vis the right of health professionals to opt out of providing the service on conscience grounds. Although scholars from various disciplines have addressed this issue in the literature, there is a lack of empirical research on the topic. This paper provides a documentary analysis of three examples of conscientious objection on religious grounds to performing abortion-related care by midwives in different Member States of the European Union, two of which have resulted in legal action.

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