No discrimination claim for anti-abortion midwife

Local health authorities in Jönköping did not discriminate against a midwife when they refused hire her because she would not perform abortions, Sweden's Equality Ombudsman has ruled.

Ellinor Grimmark was denied work at three area hospitals because authorities said her duties as a midwife including performing abortions. Grimmark said her Christian faith prevents her from taking part in the procedures.

"We have looked at the definition of midwifery in Sweden as seen from the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare, and it appears there that a midwife should be able to participate in abortions, and we consider that the authorities can maintain their claim," the agency's Martin Mörk told Swedish Radio's local channel in Jönköping.

In its decision, the Ombudsman's wrote that Grimmark's freedom of religion had been infringed on but that the public interest of having safe and accessible abortion care was important.