EL SALVADOR / SWEDEN – What it’s like to be the world’s first abortion refugee

In 2012, María Teresa Rivera (one of Las 17) was sentenced to 40 years in prison for aggravated homicide after she had had a miscarriage without realising she was pregnant. On 20 May 2016, on appeal, the Third Court recognised that there was not enough evidence to prove the commission of any crime and that her conviction had been a judicial error. The previous judgment was annulled and she was immediately granted her freedom. She … Continued

SWEDEN- The case of the anti-abortion Swedish midwives – again

  On 17 March, 19 April and 31 May, we published three reports from Sweden on the cases of two midwives who sought to keep their jobs in spite of declaring conscientious objection to abortion, which is not recognised under Swedish law, and refusing to provide abortion services, which were a part of their job descriptions. The most recent report said they were considering taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights, as … Continued

Sweden to cut aid to groups applying Trump abortion ban

A Swedish government agency on Tuesday threatened to cut aid to NGOs which have suspended abortion services over fears of losing US funding due to a decree signed by President Donald Trump. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), which aims to tackle global poverty, said it has decided that “partner organisations that receive aid to work on sexual and reproductive health and rights but also accept the president’s orders, can no longer receive aid”. … Continued

Anti-abortion midwife must pay SEK 1.6 million in legal costs after losing appeal

In November 2015, Swedish midwife Ellinor Grimmark took several local hospitals to court for refusing to offer her a summer job as a midwife in 2013, because she conscientiously objected to doing abortions and providing contraception. She lost the case because Sweden does not permit conscientious objection on these grounds, and the job description for a midwife includes providing both services. She appealed the decision to a higher court, where she lost the case again … Continued

Swedish court upholds ruling against midwife claiming conscientious objection

A Swedish Labour Court has ruled that a midwife, in an appeal regarding a lower court’s verdict against her, confirmed the view that she had not been discriminated against by Jönköping County. The County decided not to employ her in a summer job in 2013 because she had refused to assist in abortion care and also objected to giving out the morning-after pill or inserting the IUD, on grounds of her Christian faith. She was subsequently … Continued

Sweden: Where conscientious objection to abortion is not recognised in law

In Sweden, conscientious objection is not recognised in law. A Swedish midwife who refused to participate in abortions or prescribe contraceptives, which are part of the job description for midwives, was turned down for jobs in three clinics in the region of Joenkoeping in 2014. Her case was tried by Sweden’s discrimination ombudsman and appealed to the district court. Both ruled against her claims of discrimination in 2015. The district court ordered her to pay the authorities’ legal costs. She then appealed to the Labour Court.

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