Catholic midwives appeal against abortion verdict

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Two Catholic midwives who lost a legal battle over their 
objection to supervising staff 
in pregnancy terminations are to have an appeal heard next year.

Mary Doogan and Concepta Wood both object on religious grounds to participating in abortions and took Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board to court.

They had challenged whether the board was entitled to require them to delegate, supervise and support staff in the work

But Lady Smith ruled against the women at the Court of 
Session in Edinburgh, and said they were protected from any direct involvement with the procedure to which they 
objected.

The judge said: “Nothing they have to do as part of their duties terminates a woman’s pregnancy. They are sufficiently removed from direct involvement as, it seems to me, to afford appropriate respect for and accommodation of their beliefs.”

Miss Doogan, of Garrowhill, and Mrs Wood, of Clarkston, both Glasgow, had worked as labour ward co-ordinators at the Southern General Hospital.

They now plan to appeal to three judges, and a hearing was set for January.

Lord Menzies was told during a brief procedural hearing yesterday that counsel expected they would complete the appeal in two days.