BY Ian Dunn | April 24 | comments icon 4 COMMENTS     print icon print


Glasgow archbishop hails ruling for midwives as victory for freedom of conscience

The Court of Session in Edinburgh’s ruling that two Scottish Catholic midwives cannot be forced to supervise abortions is being hailed as a landmark victory for religious freedom.

Archbishop Philip Tartgalia of Glasgow, who is currently in Rome, said: “Today’s decision by the Appeal Judges is a victory for freedom of conscience and for common sense.”

Mary Doogan, 58, and Concepta Wood, 52, had their original case against NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) last year.

Lady Dorrian, sitting with Lord Mackay of Drumadoon and Lord McEwan, ruled on Wednesday the midwives’ right to conscientious objection means they can refuse to delegate, supervise or support staff involved in abortions.

“In our view the right of conscientious objection extends not only to the actual medical or surgical termination but to the whole process of treatment given for that purpose,” the ruling said. “The right is given because it is recognised that the process of abortion is felt by many people to be morally repugnant. The right of conscientious objection is given out of respect for those convictions and not for any other reason. It is in keeping with the reason for the exemption that the wide interpretation which we favour should be given to it.”

In a statement Ms Doogan, from Garrowhill in Glasgow, and Mrs Wood, from Clarkston in East Renfrewshire—who were employed as labour ward co-ordinators at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow—said they were ‘absolutely delighted’ at the ruling.

Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC) who underwrote the nurses legal costs, said the verdict was a tribute to the midwives ‘tenacity and deep sense of professionalism.’


Comments - 4 Responses

  1. Tony Cassidy says:

    terrific news, delighted for Mary and Connie who have been through very difficult times due to all of this – 2 HEROES who have just been trying to do their jobs, like any other normal person, helping families to deliver their babies in a safe and healthy manner – this should be front page news in the mainstream media – fantastic, delighted

  2. Mae Holland says:

    Fantastic news. Well done ladies. Restore some of my hope in Scottish politics. Thank God someone has some sense.!!!

  3. claire o'neill says:


  4. mark says:

    We regard Mary Doogan and Concepta Wood as our HEROES… HEROES TO INSPIRE US ALL.
    Christians, especially Catholics, are under increasing pressure from secular powers all over the world. You are in our prayers. We must pray for each other. We must all remain cool-headed and be the example to others that Christ would have us be. It takes courage under fire. Good on you girls!!!

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