British Law Offers Protection To Pro-Life Health Workers

MANCHESTER, England (CNS) – A 2010 law is providing conscience protections for health care professionals in England who believe in “the sanctity of life from conception onward,” regardless of their religious beliefs.
The Thomas More Legal Centre, which specializes in religious discrimination law, recently successfully defended two Catholic nurses who had asked not to be assigned to care for women at a central London hospital who were undergoing chemically induced abortions.
It was the first time that the belief in the “sanctity of life from conception onward” has been presented as a “philosophical belief” protected by law.
“This particular use of the Equality Act has never, to my knowledge, been argued before,” said Neil Addison, the Catholic lawyer who runs the center. “However, since the courts have accepted that belief in global warming is protected under the Equality Act, I saw no reason why a pro-life belief should not be equally protected.
“The use of the Equality Act is, I believe, very significant for doctors and nurses who are increasingly being pressured to participate in abortion, in particular these new forms of abortions induced through pills,” he added.
“It is important to understand that the Equality Act does not require that the belief in the sanctity of life is religiously based,” he said. “Even a humanist or atheist who believes that human life begins at conception will be protected by this new interpretation of the law.”