Nurses in the UK are fully within their rights to refuse to participate in abortion, and their decision and job are protected.
I'm not going to get in to the abortion debate, each of us know where they stand ....etc
The thing is this is the tip of a of a wider problem in the UK, with some trainee doctors refusing to attend lectures about and ultimately treat patients with Sexually Transmitted Illnesses, stating religion as their reason/excuse.
There has also been, originally isolated, now becoming a bit more common GP's refusing to treat Gay and Lesbian patients, people with drug problems, patients with alcohol related diseases as their life style/choices (their words not mine) are against their religion.
As GP's in Britain are paid by the government to provide a service to the general public, and the government also pays for their training, it's a touchy subject.
There are enough private health care providers springing up in the UK that if you as a doctor are that opposed to any of the above it wouldn't be difficult to find another job.
The other issue is the abortion law in the UK, which requires 2 doctors to sign off an abortion. So if you live in a rural area that only has one GP practice with 2 doc's and one or both refuse to help a patient obtain an abortion it means that for some, particularly the younger and more vulnerable there may be no alternative; as although traditionally it was also acknowledged that if a doc was against abortion that he/she was obliged to refer you on to a doctor who could/would help. This is also been ignored. If you have not been referred on it is virtually impossible to get on a new GP list.
There are also opinions floating around in the 'older' medical world (i.e.: 4 consultants I worked with today, I know not a true sample group, but at least I'm honest....but it is a hot topic at the minute; just as a extra this was 3 men 1 woman, the woman is pregnant, all the men have children, ant the ethnic/ religious mix 1 Chinese/ British, 1 Egyptian, 1 white British and 1 white British/Greek; no religion, RC, Muslim, and Atheist ) that students are opting out and claiming religious grounds as it makes their life easier, it is one less lecture series to take, one less procedure to learn and there's no come back.
Anyway I think I've forgotten my point, oh yea there's a lot more to this that meets the eye at first there is also the fact that a lot of doctors oppose nurses performing abortions as well. In other words we don't want to do it but we don't want you to either.