The petitioners were both experienced midwives employed by the employer health board. Both were practising Roman Catholics who objected to 'delegating, supervising and/or supporting staff to participate in and provide care to patients throughout the termination process'. The question was the meaning of the words 'to participate in any treatment authorised by this Act to which he has a conscientious objection' as set out in s 4 of the Abortion Act 1967. The Supreme Court held that it was unlikely that, in enacting the conscience clause, Parliament had in mind the host of ancillary, administrative and managerial tasks that might be associated with those acts.