“Even nations with the most permissive abortion laws do not normally go so far as to trample on the basic right to conscientious objection.” So said Luca Volontè, Chairman of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute in a statement earlier today.
Volontè continued: “This bill claims human rights apply only to human beings, and not to institutions. But such a manipulative attempt at semantics casually disregards what it is that defines an institution, particularly a healthcare provider – at its core is an ethos, and individual employees who are dedicated to fulfilling that ethos. Far from seeking to maintain an amoral healthcare system, this bill will impose a new morality upon hospitals and those who serve in them, one which allows for no objection and uses all the authority of the State against any who would refuse to be accomplice to a clear moral evil.“
The option of abortion in Ireland will soon become a requirement for proscribed hospitals, regardless of religious ethos or conscientious objection. The Irish abortion bill, pseudonym: “Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill” explicitly denies the right of conscientious objection and enforces a no right to refuse condition upon 25 Hospitals, two of which are Catholic.
Recalling his work as the President of the European People’s Party (the largest party) in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg, Luca Volontè added: “PACE Resolution 1763 clearly states:
No person, hospital or institution shall be coerced, held liable or discriminated against in any manner because of a refusal to perform, accommodate, assist or submit to an abortion, the performance of a human miscarriage, or euthanasia or any act which could cause the death of a human foetus or embryo, for any reason.
Such compulsion would be unprecedented in Ireland, and has been successfully challenged recently elsewhere.“
In April this year, a Scottish Court ruled in the ‘Doogan & Anor v NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board‘ trial that two midwives could not be required to delegate, support or supervise staff who were involved in abortions.
Despite repeated refusals from the Irish Department of Health to work out an accommodation, Luca Volontè spoke of his hope for changes to the proposed law: “It is not unreasonable to ask for exemptions for staff (or institutions) on the grounds of conscience, whether they be religious or ethical; such accommodation is provided in many other Western nations which practice abortion. Freedom of thought and/or conscience is not only guaranteed by international law, it is innate to our human dignity. It is truly shocking to see the government of an advanced Western country trying to deny the basic human rights of its own citizens like this.“