Doctors, activists, clergy and academics will gather for a medical conference in Rome to look at the role of conscience in healthcare for mothers
Two senior midwives who fought for the right to conscientiously object when supervising abortions and lost will speak about the pressure Catholics face in healthcare at the end of this month.
The women will speak at the MaterCare International (MCI) conference in Rome, where Catholic medical professions, clergy, civil right’s activists and academics from across the world will gather to discuss the role of conscience in providing healthcare to mothers. 
Also among the featured speakers will be Professor Bogdan Chazan of Poland.
The international organisation of Catholic medical professionals themed their conference – Maternal Health Care with a Catholic Conscience – around the growing legal challenges to conscience rights and protection for professionals. 
Discussions will focus on the seeming discrimination befalling practicing Catholic obstetricians, gynaecologists and midwives as well as the training of medical students and future specialists. 
Executive Director of MCI Dr Robert Walley said: “It is my fervent hope that at the beginning of this new millennium, all Catholic medical and health care personnel, whether in research or practice, will commit themselves whole-heartedly to the service of human life.’”
Back in 2001 at MCI’s first conference Pope St John Paul II spoke to the medical professionals during a private audience. 
He told them that the profession had become “more important” and their “responsibility [was] still greater in today’s culture and social context”.
He warned that the practice of medicine and science risked “losing sight of their inherent ethical dimension.”
Pope St John Paul II specifically discussed the issues medical professionals face when asked to supervise cases such as abortion, saying people can be “strongly tempted” to be “manipulators of life, and even agents of death.”
MCI is urging more delegates from across the world to attend the conference to discuss the future of the Church’s health care ministry to mothers.