News & Updates

Victory on conscientious objection at Council of Europe

An attack against the right of conscientious objection
was defeated today in the Council of Europe:
"The Assembly today emphasized the need to affirm the right of conscientious objection in lawful medical care. At the end of a debate on the subject during which the text presented by the Committee on Social Affairs was substantially amended, the adopted resolution states that "no person and no 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 [...]"."
Pro-life Members of the Council of Europe led by Luca Volonte of Italy and Ronan Mullen of Ireland secured passage of 29 amendments which significantly altered the report to support the right of conscience. The report was rejected in the final vote as it failed to secure a two-thirds majority. McCafferty and other pro-abortion Members were forced to vote against their own report. Vote tallies can be accessed on the PACE website.
The McCafferty report, Women's access to lawful medical care: the problem of unregulated use of conscientious objection, was an attempt to pressure and penalize medical personnel who refused to participate in procedures or actions they considered to be unethical.
According to PNCI Director Marie Smith: "Leading pro-abortion MP Christine McCafferty had contrived a report, with input from the Center for Reproductive Rights, that was designed to deny medical personnel their right not to participate in unethical procedures, especially abortion."

"McCafferty and her cohort know that doctors and nurses are committed to saving lives and most are repelled by the act of abortion, refusing to participate in any way. The report sought to deny them the right to say 'No!' and refuse to participate in the ultimate act of child abuse-death."
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch lobbied in support of the report stating in a letter to the Council:
"Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch share the deep concern expressed by the Committee about the increasing and largely unregulated occurrence of conscientious objection, especially in the field of reproductive health care, in many Council of Europe member states."
Leading pro-abortion organization 'Catholics for Choice' (CFC) also lobbied for the report attacking authentic Catholic teaching on conscience while fraudulently presenting itself as the determiner of Catholic beliefs on conscience claiming among other things that Catholic teaching "recognizes that institutions have no right to a claim of conscience".
The pro-abortion lobby was undone by a united and strong pro-life network from throughout Europe which was moved to action by the extreme measures of the McCafferty report and statements by CFC and other NGOs.
Smith states: "The pro-life network in Europe is growing in strength daily, in part motivated to action by radical groups which advance the violence of abortion. Pro-life groups in particular recognize the deception spouted by CFC and feel that in the name of transparency and honesty the group should rename itself 'Anti-Catholics for Abortion'.
"Today's debate on conscience has shown that pro-abortion lobby groups in Europe can no longer use false arguments and outrights lies to win the vote. The pro-life movement is alive, well and growing--dedicated to truth and committed to advancing the dignity of life."