Conscientious objection, abortion, Europe – Anna Heino, et. al

Heino, A., Gissler, M., Apter, D., & Fila, C. (2013). Conscientious objection and induced abortion in Europe. The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, 18. 231-233. doi: 10.3109/13625187.2013.819848.


This article is a very concise primer on the debate and current state of conscientious objection (CO) as it pertains to abortion care in Europe. Generally, the problem CO presents as it pertains to abortion care is that it can leave entire regions without access to a physician who will perform abortions. Notably, “CO puts women in an unequal position depending on their place of residence, socioeconomic status, income, and their ability to travel long distances to access a service to which they are legally entitled” (232). I saw many connections between lack of access caused by CO in Europe to lack of access caused by TRAP laws in the U.S. Overall, this article helps me to understand the ways in which CO is dangerous to women seeking abortion care and/or makes abortion services inaccessible.

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