In a direct attack on a Council of Europe resolution, upholding the right of medical personnel to conscientiously object to abortion, the Swedish Parliament voted yesterday to campaign against the resolution.
The Swedish parliament approved a resolution by 271 to 20 which says
"Sweden should support efforts which makes abortions free, safe and legal for all women. Sweden is one of few countries who are central in the international work focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights."
The resolution includes an instruction to the Swedish delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Coucil of Europe (PACE) to work to change the resolution to uphold the right to conscientious objection passed by the COE last October and which the following; "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".
John Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), a UK-based, UN-recognised pro-life NGO whose lobbying helped pass October's PACE resolution, commented:
"Sweden's vote today shows the lengths to which the supporters of abortion are prepared to go to promote the killing of unborn children. There are no international conventions which recognise a right to abortion, whereas conscientious objection is a basic principle of international human rights law. October's PACE resolution was passed in a massively amended form because the original text was an outrageous attack upon the ethical standards of the medical profession, trained to preserve, not end, life.
"We will be working with our colleagues across Europe to ensure that Sweden's attempt to erode the right to defend life is thwarted",