My eye was caught this morning by this article describing how two catholic nurses had to take their employer to court to win the right not to participate in terminations of pregnancy.
This is not going to be a rant about catholicism as you might expect. I am actually in this case on the side of the nurses, although I personally fully support the right of any woman to terminate her pregnancy. But it should never have been necessary for this legal case to have been brought.
I have worked in the NHS for a long time and at a lot of places and wherever I have been it was considered quite legitimate for staff to be accommodated if they did not wish to be involved with abortion. It is a right we already had. Section 4 of the abortion act, 1967, states “Subject to subsection (2) of this section, no person shall be under any duty, whether by contract or by any statutory or other legal requirement, to participate in any treatment authorised by this Act to which he has a conscientious objection:”
Even if it were not a right, most employers recognise the strength of feeling engendered by the issue, and allow objectors to opt out of these duties. The hospital management have now backed down but what depths of insensitivity and tyranny drove them to try and force the issue. This is yet another example of piss poor man management by people who are in the wrong job.
The article does not identify the hospital, or the managers responsible for treating their staff so unlawfully, and with such contempt. I will have to see what I can dig up.