Refuse to Practice Abortion? Lose Your Job!

What would you do if you had to choose between your job and your  faith? Between your livelihood and your conscience?

I often think about this because as a physician anesthesiologist I do not wish to perform procedures that lead to the elective, intentional demise of any life. That includes euthanasia or mercy-killing and abortion. So far, every workplace I have been part of has accommodated my conscience clause.

What if this was not the case?

This week a citizengo petition was started in favor a Polish-Norwegian physician who lost her job because she refused to perform the insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD) as a method of birth control. Her moral objection has to do with the fact that the IUD can act as an abortifacient under certain conditions. It can theoretically prevent the implantation of a viable embryo.

From the petition:

“Dr Jachimowicz is a medical doctor with 23 years’ experience, and over 4 years working as a family doctor at the Family Clinic in the municipality of Sauherad in Norway. During this period, there has never been any complaint about her work as a physician. From the beginning of her employment with the clinic, the management knew that Dr Jachimowicz would not agree to the use of the intrauterine coil in her practice of medicine (in Norway, the coil is not only a matter for gynecologists but also for family doctors). And, for the clinic, this did not present a problem, because other doctors at the same clinic, who were willing to prescribe this abortifacient, served the women (patients) who asked for it.

Therefore, the contract between the clinic and Dr Jachimowicz contained a disclaimer that she would not be obliged to perform these procedures, as such measures are abortifacient in nature. And, the clinic’s management agreed to the arrangement.

However, between 2011-2014, there was an intense discussion in Norway about the right to conscientious objection in family medicine. Doctors who used it underwent a thorough inspection. And then, on 1 January , 2015, a new rule came into force, which effectively prohibited family doctors from refusing any work because of their beliefs. The only exception to this draconian measure was the lack of appropriate skills.”

Dr Jachimowicz was forced out of her job because of her pro-life stance.

These situations happen not because there is a lack of medical personnel to perform morally questionable procedures, but because the militant, progressive, extreme-left, anti-family, anti-life establishment made it their purpose in life to harass Christians who guide their life by the moral compass called the Bible. Tolerance is a one-way street for these intolerant liberals.

Unfortunately, cases like these are not limited to progressive countries like Norway. Such instances have occurred in the United States as well where nurses have lost their jobs because they refused to participate in abortion, and in some cases they lost the appeal as well.

Should doctors and health professionals be allowed to practice their profession according to their faith on this issue of life? Please leave a comment below with your opinion.

26 comments on “Refuse to Practice Abortion? Lose Your Job!

  1. This is horrible! Our rights are being stomped on more and more each day by the so called “tolerant” left. We are being forced to confirm to this world or be all out excluded. I would rather be excluded from this world rather than the kingdom of God! All I can say is Come Jesus come!

  2. It is so sad that this is even an issue. I’m not that old and I remember a time when actions like the one described above weren’t even a consideration. Everyone wants “freedom” to do whatever they want in so many wrong ways these days that I think many Christians are starting to feel like targets at the shooting gallery. Only, this isn’t a game. How many people’s lives will be impacted because Dr Jachimowicz wasn’t allowed to serve?

    A new rule here, a new rule there, and pretty soon Bible believing Christians might have no place left to go. I would contend that Christians are some of the best citizens that any country should ever want. Yes, we have morals based on the words of Jesus Christ and none of us live those words out perfectly. However, in the past as Christians grew in the faith it was not seen as a bad thing by most people. Now, so many seem to be fighting with those who follow Christ.

    I hope this intolerance of the Christian faith subsides. A Christian’s only reason for intolerance is that something opposes obvious moral scriptures that are meant to help man find true freedom:

    “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

    Yes, doctors and health professionals should be allowed to practice their profession according to their faith on this issue of life.

      • Don’t give words into my mouth that I have not said. Norway is still very far away from the worst places on this globe.
        However the tendency of potential ideological fights behind law-making is a bit frightening on the old continent. Especially for those people living in countries who have experienced that kind of ideological fight behind law-making in the past centuries.

  3. I’d sign that petition if it came my way, but CitizenGo haven’t seen fit to circulate me on it – possibly because I don’t live in Norway?
    As regards the issue in question, the use of the intrauterine coil, I think Dr Jachimowicz is wrong theologically (There is no provision in the Mosaic Law to prevent a woman who is carrying an embryo of that age from being stoned to death when she has incurred that penalty, so it must be lawful to dispose of it in other ways – This applies also to matters like IVF and embryo experimentation; basically Warnock was right, but for the wrong reasons), but she has a right to her conscience.

  4. European Convention for Human Right says in Article 9:
    “2. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be
    subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are
    necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety,
    for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the
    protection of the rights and freedoms of others”

    The question is that the new law limiting religious freedom was really necessary in a democratic society. If not, Dr. Jachimowicz could win a lawsuit. I don’t know about any ther democratic society where there was such a limitation, and I guess Norway’s society is secular enough to find another doctor.

  5. Pingback: Refuse to Practice Abortion? Lose Your Job! | ARMONIA MAGAZINE - USA

  6.   
    “Should doctors and health professionals be allowed to practice their profession according to their faith on this issue of life?”

    I agree. It can only be a great problem in very sparsely populated areas where no other doctor is found for miles and miles, or if a doctor also tries to prevent a patient from access to others who will do the procedure, which is a procedure which a woman has a right to have carried out for her.

    Dr Jachimowicz is not being prevented from practicing medicine, though, she is being prevented from being a general practitioner of a certain kind, a “fastlege” (permanent doctor) with whom patients can register in a system organised by the state’s health program. When the system of “permanent doctors” was introduced, I was not at all in favour, and actually the majority of doctors were not either, I heard, but too many of them neglected voting against it. Patients who want state-subsidised medical services have to register with a permanent doctor, and this is reported in a central register. Patients can change their permanent doctor but only so many times a year etc. The socialists try to prevent independent medical practitioners and services but cannot quite manage to. There are some private medical centres who also do some types of operations close to where I live, and I sometimes use them. They can also supply a doctor for a home visit, they are fast, and they have first class specialists, some of them for certain periods only. I had a cataract operation there. They have all advantages but one: they are expensive.
        For some types of medical service, like if you have to have a special health check for keeping your driving licence, I think possibly only your permanent doctor can do it.

    I would think that Dr Jachimowicz can find other work, maybe more specialised work in a hospital. It would seem more of a loss to the Sauherad district – although I am not well up on how that market is.

    Norges Kristelige Legeforening, NKLF – (Norway’s Christian Doctors’ Association) supports her, and so far the general association: Den norske legeforening (The Norwegian Medical Doctors’ Association) gave her initial support in supplying her with a lawyer. The NKLF have supported her financially, and she is taking the municipality of Sauherad to court, and is prepared to take the case all the way to Strasbourg (the ECtHR), although the total costs if she loses will run to many hundreds of thousands of NOK.

    Here is one article:
    http://www.ta.no/nyheter/sauherad/reservasjonsrett/sa-nei-til-a-sette-inn-spiral-fikk-sparken/s/5-50-189853

    • Thanks for your input, Marianne. I too feel that her opting out of performing the intrauterine device procedure should not impact the supply/demand curve where she is, in fact the other doctors in her group DO the procedure. I feel like this is a case of progressive intolerance toward someone’s Christian values.

      • We KNOW that this is a case of progressive intolerance toward someone’s Christian values. But it is possible that this is not down to the clinic itself, but the legislators.
        Insufficient attention has also been given to the possibility that conscience can have a negative impact on the QUALITY of work done in defiance of it.

      • I frequently here this argument about a person’s conscientious objection can’t affect supply and demand. Why? Because someone has a ‘right’ to do something or pay for a service, doesn’t mean they have a ‘right’ to force others to provide the service. This is a rather twisted view of rights. I may have a right to buy a product, does that suggest I can legally force stores within a certain distance of my home to carry the product?

        •   
          To John Rokos and Matt,

          In fact it is the legislation that has been “sharpened” to make it obligatory on a “permanent doctor” to provide such service. Their contract with the state obliges them to. So it is not up to that particular clinic.
            

        • Thank you for the context on the situation in Norway. I’m not really surprised, but the clarity is useful. I would say this simply provides us another example of Norway as an oppressive and anti-Christian (and anti-conscience) government. When you block pro-life citizens (Christian or otherwise) legally from taking jobs what else would you call it. I suspect, however, that the argument used to support such legislation is an argument about a woman’s ‘right’ to have an abortion. This argument is, of course, specifically what I’m commenting on.

  7. I should perhaps have added a little more about the system (although it is not essential in order to understand the Jachimowicz case, so I don’t know if it is all that interesting to DiT readers).
    The system of general practitioners called “permanent doctors” is pretty pervasive. Not only the patients are subsidised but the permanent doctors, too, receive a certain sum from the state. Each permanent doctor can only take on so many patients, so if his/her list is full you have to find another. If a general practitioner does not enter into this system, he may find it difficult to find sufficient work in many places, for financial reasons. This might be the case in Sauherad municipality:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauherad

    People are not obliged to register with a permanent doctor, but by far most people do. It may be difficult to find a doctor for ordinary complaints if you don’t, and priority is given to the registered patients if there is a queue.
    I have a permanent doctor myself, at a local clinic, and I am very satisfied both with the doctor and the clinic. They also have a lab service. But they are not open nights or on week-ends, so if anything urgent crops up then, there are only the public emergency clinics down-town, or a private clinic’s emergency service. Such services only exist in cities/towns, but in the country districts there is an arrangement whereby different doctors are obliged to do emergency service in rotation.

    Most committed Christians have been very much against the law of 1978 placing the choice of abortion with the woman. Previously, a woman wanting an abortion had to apply to a medical board. The doctors on such board were shown to be strongly criticised for being guided not by what was supposed to be decisive: the medical questions involved, but by their religious or moral views, and the boards were strongly resented and criticised – rightly so, I think, since on the questions on which they actually made their decisions, they were no more expert than the woman herself but simply very authoritarian over others who did not share their opinion. The general opinion in the population had over a long time been drifting in the direction of autonomy for the woman.
    Many of the same religiously committed people, not only Catholics, have also, in Norway like in many other places, been against any form of contraception. The opinion in Norway in the last decades, I think, finds opposition to contraception in general so far out that this also affects the attitude to doctors who challenge the woman’s rights re abortion.

    https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abort
    gives a quite comprehensive history. Sorry I haven’t found an English version.
    (The word “abort” in Norwegian covers both spontaneous miscarriage and abortion.)

    • ‘The word “abort” in Norwegian covers both spontaneous miscarriage and abortion’ – as, I think, in Hebrew and Greek. The author(s) of the uninspired (and Pelagian) Didache and Epistle of Barnabas were forced to use a phrase meaning “murder by abortion”

  8. I would quit my job. Abortion isn’t the way to go no matter how the expecting mother got pregnant. The fetus has a heartbeat after 8 weeks,how could you listen to it,and not want to keep it,or atleast give it up for adoption. If the mother were to abort, she’s more likely going to have depression, anxiety, and PTSD. God tells us in Exodus in the Ten Commandments not to commit murder, an abortion is murder! An abortion happens every 60 seconds. If you would like more info you can visit: rupregnant.com

  9. The (Christian) newspaper Norge IDAG (“Norway TODAY”) has a big report about the result of the court-case in Aust-Telemark Tingrett (the District Court in Eastern Telemark county). The case was brought by Dr Jahimowicz in order to get her job as a permanent doctor in Sauherad municipality back, plus receive compensation for loss of income from the time she was sacked. The process took place on 16-18 January of this year, the judgment came on 9 February.

    Dr Jachimowicz lost the case. Both parties, however, will have to carry their own legal expenses (which means that the court found that it was not unreasonable of Dr Jachimowicz to bring the case to court).

    I have not read the judgment, but Norge IDAG’s report is probably accurate. It says the judgment argues that letting a doctor refuse to give a woman an intrauterine contraceptive device would amount to gender discrimination of women (as against men), since men have no need of similar services.

    Norge IDAG says, and it sounds logical, that the court seems to have started by making up its mind to find against Dr Jachimowicz and has then looked around for arguments to justify this decision.

    It is now a question whether Dr Jachimowicz and her helpers can raise the necessary sums to appeal the judgment to the appeal court. Court cases are extremely expensive. Norges Kristelige Legeforening (Norway’s Christian Doctors’ Association) and the Catholic Church and Catholic organisations have contributed so far.

    You seem to have to be a subscriber or buy access to the issue in order to read the article:
    http://idag.no/samfunn/nyheter/tapte-samvittighetssak-i-tingretten/19.25567

    • I could read the article.
      Some newspapers offer some limited number of articles per month, I wonder if it was the case with IDAG as well…

      I agree the reasoning is weird — and I would expect the judgement to bring arguments why non-discrimination is more important in this case than other human rights.

      There is no human right for this and human right for that. There are human rights altogether, often colliding with each other and often the right balance has to be found. I would be interested what the court writes about why they think this was the current balance.
      In case they just state discrimination and not go into elaboration into collision of human rights, then they have mistaken at start.

    • Thank you for the update, Marianne. I am not surprised she lost. Abortion is the holy grail of feminism, and Norway has certainly been a champion on that front. There has been news here in the US that Norway is picking up at least part of the tab after president Trump’s executive order has cut American international funds to various abortion causes.

  10. I should perhaps not have been quite as brief on the reasoning (what Norge IDAG says about it).

    Background: When you function as a “permanent doctor”, you receive a certain subsidy from the state for the patients who register with you. You then have the obligation to provide all medical services defined appropriate for a general practitioner to provide, for your registered patients.

    The judgment says that if a permanent doctor refuses, on the basis of conviction, to do this particular procedure, a woman wanting it would have to be referred to another doctor than her permanent doctor (or she would have to change her permanent doctor) in order to have it done, and that would be unreasonable, since a man would not have to go to another doctor to obtain comparable contraceptive measures.

    I’ll translate a paragraph, taken from the judgment itself – I don’t quite know if it makes matters clearer, though:

    “The fact that a woman who wants an abortive (copper) spiral inserted is referred to another doctor than her permanent doctor in order to have this done, because of the doctor’s reservation (based on) conscience, represents in the opinion of the court differential treatment based on sex (gender). It is, in the view of the court, sufficient to show that it follows from human (physical) nature that men are not exposed to the situation of having to change to another doctor than his permanent doctor because of circumstances of conscience of the doctor in connection with this type of procreation-hindering medical treatment.”

    • Let me summarize: Dr Jachimowicz has been found guilty in discrimination, due to the nature of human beings is that they are of different sexes.

      The discrimination is present in the nature of human beings. Dr. Jachimowicz had nothing to do about it.

      • Maybe we could find another formulation than “has been found guilty”, Jasper. That formulation smacks of criminal court, and the case is not one where she has been accused of anything. It is a civil case, one which she has started herself against the Norwegian authorities that have dismissed her from her job as a “permanent doctor”.

        • I was a bit strong.
          Anyway, I meant, if there was any discrimination, it was by nature and not by the doctor. I think it is nonsense that the doctor is responsible in any form for the biological differences among women and men.

  11. Here is another example of a world gone mad. A doctor has a moral problem with performing a certain procedure and she is fired? This same thing has been happening in America to a degree but there seems to be a recent, increased attack on personal ethics in the workplace in similar important cases. How far will this godless reasoning take us? Will some country begin to require certain citizens to be sterilized or worse? I thought we had progressed past such crimes. Life is becoming cheaper in the 21st century and evil forces would love for many to have to choose between their jobs and their personal morals. Many in important positions would lose influence due to the results of such a choice. I am not surprised with these cases as the Christian faith is under attack in so many ways these days. In my view, these words from Mark 12 have become less valued than at any time during my life:

    “30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

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