Scottish Catholic midwives’ appeal goes to court next week
SPUC helps the women who conscientiously object on religious grounds to supervising abortions appeal the decision against them.
The appeal of the two Scottish Catholic midwives who lost their court case against supervising abortion procedures will start on Tuesday.
The appeal against the controversial decision will be heard by three judges in the Inner House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh and is expected to last two days.
Midwifery sisters Mary Doogan, 57, and Concepta Wood, 51, (above), claim that being forced to supervise staff taking part in abortions violated their human rights. Last February, Judge Lady Smith at the Court of Session, Edinburgh, ruled against the midwives.
Ms Doogan, from Garrowhill in Glasgow, and Mrs Wood, from Clarkston in East Renfrewshire, both object on religious grounds to participating in abortions and took their employer, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, to court over the issue. Both women had worked as co-ordinators on the labour ward at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow. The midwifery sisters have a right of conscientious objection and challenged whether the health board was entitled to require them to delegate, supervise and support staff in the work.
Following a judicial review in February, however, Judge Lady Smith ruled against the women, claiming they were sufficiently protected from any direct involvement with the procedure to which they object.
The two midwives, and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), which is underwriting their legal costs, dispute that ruling.