Spain has no conscience clause that would exempt physicians who do not believe in abortion from refusing to perform that procedure. So pro-life doctors–of which there are many in this largely Catholic country–are announcing their willingness to go to jail. In this account, notice the useful new word: “fetal executioner.” From the Catholic news agency:
Dr. Esteban Rodriguez, spokesman for the organization Right to Life (Derecho a Vivir) in Spain, responded yesterday to comments by the country’s Minister of Justice, Francisco Caamano, who said there was no room for a conscience clause in the new law on abortion.
“We are willing to go to jail rather than following a criminal law, Rodriguez said, “and we are willing to commit the supposed crime of disobedience before the crime of abortion.”
“We will not kill our patients, nor will we commit a crime against the public health deliberately harming the heath of women, no matter how much the Minister of Justice threatens us and abuses his power,” the doctor said.
“We doctors are not soldiers, nor policemen, nor executioners. There is no civil disobedience in the refusal to kill a human being, but rather the fulfilling of our professional obligation,” he added.
If the government carries out the threat by the Minister of Justice to penalize conscientious objectors as disobedient, Rodriguez said that a “new category of victims of the laws on abortion and the regulation of conscience will be created in the gynecologists who wish to carry out their moral obligations in the face of an imposed ideology.”
After recalling that the statute in the Spanish constitution allowing conscientious objection must be respected, Rodriguez expressed his surprise that the law would shield from prison some doctors who have been convicted of performing illegal abortions, while punishing with prison those doctors who have fought to defend the lives of their patients and the health of women.
“We recommend they think about creating a new level of officials at the ministries of Justice and Equality: fetal executioners,” Dr. Rodriguez remarked.