Pope Francis insists on right to conscientious objection for abortion refuseniks

By Michael Cook

Editor’s note. This is excerpted from BioEdge and reposted with permission.

Health workers have a non-negotiable right to conscientious objection if they are asked to participate in an abortion, Pope Francis told a conference of hospital pharmacists this week.

Conscientious objection is actually “fidelity to your profession, if validly motivated,” he said.

“This is the ethical intimacy of every health professional and this should never be negotiated, it is the ultimate responsibility of health professionals. It is also a denunciation of the injustices done to the detriment of innocent and defenceless life.”

And, pushing back against accusations that Catholic doctrine is harsh and unyielding, he said that “our duty is to be close to people, our positive duty: to be close to situations, especially women, so that they do not come to think of abortion as the solution.”

It was at least the third time in a month that Francis has denounced abortion, which has become a major political issue in many countries, especially the United States.

In an in-flight press conference in September he declared: “Abortion is more than an issue. Abortion is murder … It’s a human life, period.”