Conscientious objection to participating in abortion: Grimmark and Steen

The Third Section ECtHR has held that the complaints of two Swedish midwives who were unable to practise because of their objections to taking part in termination or pregnancy were inadmissible.


Ellinor Grimmark had been offered jobs as a midwife by two women’s clinics, but when she explained that she could not perform abortions because of her conscientious objection and her Christian faith, both clinics withdrew their offers and Jönköping District Court dismissed her complaint of discrimination. The Equality Ombudsman also ruled against her, on the grounds that under the relevant legislation employers had the right to request an employee to perform all the tasks which naturally fell within the scope of the work in question. Continue reading