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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Swedish parliament votes to campaign against conscientious objection to abortion

11 May 2011

Swedish parliament votes to campaign against conscientious objection to abortion London, 11 May 2011: The Swedish Parliament voted this afternoon to campaign against a European resolution upholding the right to conscientious objection to abortion.

Swedish parliamentarians voted 271 to 20 to instruct the Swedish delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Coucil of Europe (PACE) to work to change a resolution passed in October, which said (in part): "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 text of today's motion in the Swedish parliament said (inter alia): "Sweden should support efforts which makes abortions free, safe and legal for all women. Sweden is one of few countries who are central in the international work focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights." J

ohn Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), a UK-based, UN-recognised pro-life NGO whose lobbying helped pass October's PACE resolution, commented: "Sweden's vote today shows the lengths to which the supporters of abortion are prepared to go to promote the killing of unborn children. There are no international conventions which recognise a right to abortion, whereas conscientious objection is a basic principle of international human rights law. October's PACE resolution was passed in a massively amended form because the original text was an outrageous attack upon the ethical standards of the medical profession, trained to preserve, not end, life. "We will be working with our colleagues across Europe to ensure that Sweden's attempt to erode the right to defend life is thwarted", concluded Mr Smeaton.

John Smeaton, SPUC director, can be contacted on (0)7785 325808 or (020) 7820 3128.

http://www.spuc.org.uk/ Notes for editors: 1. The text approved by the Swedish Parliament today reads: “The resolution 1763 (2010), adopted October 7, 2010, by the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council, implies that health care workers should have the possibility to choose not to perform abortions. The position of the standing committee, has been expressed in the commission report 2009/10:UU15, “Human rights in Swedish Foreign Policy”. The standing committee stands firm that Sweden should support efforts which makes abortions free, safe and legal for all women. Sweden is one of few countries who are central in the international work focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The Swedish policy on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights remains stable. The standing committee notices that the issue of abortion is not covered by the EU treaty. The standing committee remain negative to the content of Resolution 1763 (2010) and consider the [Swedish] delegation to take more action to accomplish a change of this resolution.” 2. October's PACE resolution can be read at


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