A formal complaint has been submitted to the United Nations against Sweden over its practice of requiring physicians and others to perform abortions.
While there was an uproar in the United States and a successful court challenge to President Obama’s plans to require people to pay into a fund for abortions, in Sweden officials have carried the mandate much further, according to the complaint submitted by the European Center for Law and Justice.
Director Gregor Puppinck wrote to Heiner Bielefeldt, special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, at the office of the high commission on human rights at the U.N.
The victims are represented by several named midwives, doctors and pediatricians, he explained.
While “the right to conscientious objection in relation to abortion is largely recognized in European and international human rights law,” there is no such accommodation in Sweden, he said.
The letter cited the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which ruled: “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, the performance of a human miscarriage, or euthanasia or any act which could cause the death of a human fetus or embryo, for any reasons.”
However, in Sweden, officials adopted a position “against the freedom of conscience of medical practitioners,” Puppinck’s letter said.
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“In Sweden, a doctor cannot refuse to perform an abortion even if the only reason is the sex of the baby,” he wrote.
Worse yet are the complications from late-term abortions.
“Some medical personnel refuse to participate in abortions, especially late term abortions, because of the risk that the aborted child may be born alive. This is a complication that is not exceptional and is becoming more common when the pregnancy is more advanced,” the letter explains.
In fact, a study from 2007 found more than 3 percent of abortions after 16 weeks produced a child born alive. At 23 weeks, the initial survival rate was about 10 percent.
“Swedish midwife Siv Bertilsson considers that a quarter of babies abortion after the 16th or 17th week live between 5 and 15 minutes. To see these newborns struggling for breath and dying alone is inhumane for the child and traumatic for the midwife. Siv Bertilsson participated in abortions beyond 12 weeks at the beginning of her career. She has horrible flashbacks of those newborns dying in a bowl,” the letter continued.
“She was afterwards able to avoid participating in abortions but a reorganization of the department will soon force her to participate again, against her will. She therefore wonders whether to leave the profession she has been exercising for 36 years.”
One specific case developed when Dr. Andrea Kischkel tried to have a mother transferred to the 3rd level Neonatal Intensive Care Unit … where neonatologists try to save premature born babies’ lives, the letter said.
“That was refused because it was an abortion. A little girl was born alive on 1st March 2014 at 7:55 p.m. The midwives were not allowed the contact the pediatrician on call. Therefore, the child was given no medication, no pain relief although she had been pulled out by vacuum extraction. A midwife swept the baby into warm towels and waited until she had died, nearly half-an-hour later.”
The targets of the complaint are the officials in Swedish government who adopt laws and make regulations.
“The Swedish government and parliament regularly reject proposals of a conscience clause for medical staff and students. Sweden considers that people who have belief concerning the respect for life must choose an occupation without link to pregnancy,’ the complaint says.
“The former minister for social affairs, Mr. Goran Hagglund, said it publicly.”
Doctors and midwives can be removed from their jobs, medical students can be deprived of their diplomas and more under Sweden’s pro-abortion mandates.
As a result, people with “all the scientific skills and human qualities for these professions are deterred from them by the systematic discrimination they undergo.”
“In the end, the patients, especially pregnant women, suffer the consequences of this obstinacy. Sweden suffers from a shortage of midwives but persists for ideological reasons rather than accepting skilled staff whose belief it disapproves of,” Puppinck wrote.
Citing the European Court of Human Rights, which said that forcing people to change jobs is not the appropriate balance between abortion advocacy and respect for life, the complaint said the “ban on conscientious objection” is out of line.
“It is a systemic violation,” the letter said. “The authors are national authorities who refuse to set a legal framework allowing for the exercise of the right to conscientious objection, national and local medical authorities who refuse, except in exceptional cases, individual agreements reconciling effective operation of health services and right to conscientious objection.”