Catholic Universe-The Catholic Times
Pro-life groups have claimed that the recent drop in applications to midwifery courses could be rectified by enshrining conscientious objection.
Recent figures show that there has been a 35 per cent drop in the number of applicants to midwifery courses since 2013. The Royal College of Midwives (RCM), which analysed the latest Ucas data for England, said the biggest reduction was in those aged 21 or over.
In 2013, more than 12,000 people aged over 21 applied for a midwifery course in England, but by 2017 that figure had dropped to just 6,700 – a decrease of 45 per cent. . . [Full text]
Pro-choice groups have condemned an attempt to create new laws that would allow doctors and nurses to refuse to take part in abortions on moral grounds.
A private bill going through the House of Lords that would expand rights of conscientious objection for healthcare professionals has been dismissed as unnecessary by abortion providers and campaigners.
Those in favour of the bill, sponsored by the Northern Irish crossbench peer Nuala O’Loan, insisted their aim was not to restrict abortion but to uphold freedom of belief and religion they claim is under threat in hospitals since a contentious supreme court ruling in 2014. . . [Full text]
Call The Midwife has become a national institution, and is the BBC’s most popular drama.
Up to ten million people tune in to this heart-warming serial, and its stars, such as Jenny Agutter and Helen George, have reminded people what a high calling it is to bring children into the world.
Yet I think that many viewers would be horrified to realise that today, in 21st century Britain, midwives can lose their jobs unless they are willing to facilitate abortions – even though, in ending the life of an unborn child, they must do something that is instinctively the opposite of their calling.
To put a midwife – or any other healthcare professional – in that invidious position is to me wholly unacceptable. It is almost totalitarian. . .[Full Text]
Mary Doogan sees herself like the driver of the getaway car in an armed robbery.
‘Would the police say that because he wasn’t actually in the bank, brandishing the gun, he isn’t guilty? Of course, they wouldn’t.’
This retired midwife, demurely dressed in a coral cardigan and smart court shoes, is the least likely of criminals, and it is sad that she carries even a hint of guilt about her ‘crime’.
After all, it was committed only in her own eyes (and God’s, she would say) and was a matter of conscience.
In the course of her duties in an NHS hospital, Mary, a devout Catholic, supervised colleagues as they participated in abortions. Although never hands-on herself, she admits she always felt implicated.
‘It’s why I later took the stance I did,’ she says, referring to the court case that ultimately cost her job as a labour ward co-ordinator at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow. . . [Full Text]
Scottish Catholic Observer
The Catholic Church in Scotland has called for a bill that gives medical professionals the right to conscientiously object to medical procedures such as abortion.
The comments come after Baroness O’Loan’s new Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill for England and Wales, which looks to ensure conscience rights for medical professionals, had a second hearing in the House of Lords on Friday January 26.
“While the bill only applies to England and Wales, its progress should be of interest to people in Scotland, where hopefully a similar bill could be presented to the Scottish Parliament,” director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office Anthony Horan said. . . . [Full text]