Wednesday, March 20, 2013

German church supports contraception

In Germany there was a public uproar about a woman who after having been raped, was refused treatment and in particular emergency contraception in 2 catholic hospitals in Cologne. Catholic hospitals in Germany receive financial contributions from the State... The doctors were afraid to loose their job if they gave the pill, because some time ago (gestapo style) undercover anti-abortion women had asked for it at catholic hospitals and then denounced the hospitals and doctors to church hierarchy, which then ordered catholic hospitals not to offer emergency contraception.

After this new case got public, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne (on the right), issued a statement, after consultation with unspecified experts, that "in the light of new scientific evidence" (mainly the study of Kristina Gemzell et al.) the emergency pill did not have an abortifacient effect. Therefore, if the "morning after pill is used with the intention of preventing fertilization, this is in my opinion justifiable," he said. A morning after pill, which would prevent the implantation of fertilized eggs, however, was unacceptable. "It belongs to the nature of new knowledge, that it is often controversial. The Church can only explain the moral principles. The individual doctor in a Catholic institution must then conscientiously weigh his own scientific judgment, whether a drug is preventing fertilization or nidation and so come to a responsible decision."This statement was immediately attacked by anti-abortion organizations and doctors who disagree with the claim, that the morning after pill has no anti-nidation effect.

Now in 2 German States, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, the governments have reached an agreement with representatives of the catholic church, that in all relevant hospitals under its ownership, women who have been raped can obtain the pill, and that doctors can freely decide to treat patients.
A petition launched by the family planning organisation Pro Familia, has been tabled with the federal government with more than 50'000 signatures, asking for an obligation for all hospitals in Germany to offer emergency contraception.

The German Bishops' Conference is expected to issue a statement on the matter this week.

source: Anne-Marie Rey
Abortion-information (formerly USPDA)
Grabenstr. 21 3052 Zollikofen / Switzerland
++41 (0)31 911 57 94

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