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High court overturns midwife abortion ruling

The UK's highest court has overturned a ruling made in favour of two Catholic midwives who object to any involvement in abortion procedures.

Five justices at the Supreme Court in London allowed an appeal by a health authority in Scotland against a decision of the Court of Session in Edinburgh last year in the case of Mary Doogan and Connie Wood.

As conscientious objectors, the senior midwifery sisters have had no direct role in pregnancy terminations, but they claim they should also be entitled to refuse to delegate, supervise and support staff involved in the procedures or providing care to patients during the process.

They said being called upon to supervise and support staff providing care to women having an abortion would amount to "participation in treatment" and would breach their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The "landmark" ruling was welcomed by the RCM and bpas, who said they intervened in the case because they believed "such a broad and unprecedented interpretation of conscientious objection, applicable across the UK, would effectively have enabled a tiny number of staff opposed to abortion to make women's care undeliverable in many NHS settings".

Anti-abortion group react to woman's abortion video

The UK anti-abortion group LIFE have responded to a video posted on YouTube showing a US woman filmed having an abortion.

The three minute footage of the procedure at a New Jersey clinic, where Emily Letts works, was carried out to show women that “there is such a thing as a positive abortion story."

A spokesperson from the LIFE charity, who state their opposition to abortion on their website, told ITV News:

Ms Letts sets out to prove that having an abortion is a positive experience. LIFE has met many women who do not view their abortion as positive experiences but actually as experiences which result in guilt, regret, anxiety and depression.

Abortion is a serious procedure which ends the life of an unborn child. It should never be taken lightly.

If the video focused on the actual abortion process then the procedure would have shocked viewers.

Instead of normalising, we should be encouraging women to look more closely at abortion and what it involves - including the long term effects.

– LIFE Charity
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