• Germany's news in English
 

Church backs morning-after pill for rape victims

Published: 05 Feb 2013 12:23 GMT+01:00

Archbishop Josef Cardinal Meisner caused a stir in Church circles last week when he said the morning-after pill was, in certain circumstances, not morally objectionable.

Bishops of the Münster, Aachen, Essen and Paderborn dioceses officially gave him their support on Monday, NRW paper the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung said.

In the instance of rape, medication that stopped pregnancy by halting the division of cells had the Archbishop's blessing. Chemical abortion pills, however, remained unacceptable in the eyes of the Church.

Two Catholic clinics in NRW came under fire in January after it emerged that they refused in December a woman who had been raped the morning-after pill. Their reasoning was that their medical treatment of the woman would result in ending a pregnancy, which is against Church doctrine.

The state's Health Minister Babara Steffens then said that they had failed to offer the woman thorough medical treatment and that their choice put the service available at NRW's Catholic health facilities into question.

“Now there is clarity for the future,” the state's Catholic office told the paper. The head of the office had asked for a clear opinion on the matter from the Archbishop, to prevent confusion.

Steffens called the Archbishop's decision “an important signal for securing the availability of thorough treatment for women in need at Catholic hospitals.” That other Bishops have agreed, meant that Steffens would not have to take legal action to make the pill available in Catholic institutions.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:05 February 5, 2013 by twisted
Seems simple to me...it is the right thing to do.
14:21 February 5, 2013 by SchwabHallRocks
Very significant for the Church... Most likely will be overturned in weeks by Rome.
17:05 February 5, 2013 by Omufu
Not sure what the difference is between the two types of pill. Chemical abortion aborts the fetus, and the other halts division of cells... which ultimately ends up with the same thing. If the basic idea is that personhood begins at conception then shouldn't the church be against both?

Just saying it seems inconsistent.
17:34 February 5, 2013 by yourkeau
I don't understand the logic behind the church's actions. If they deny morning after pill, the woman will have to undergo abortion, which is legal in Germany. I thought Catholic church is against abortions, but their actions are forcing women to do it.
22:48 February 5, 2013 by wood artist
@Omufu

The difference, medically, might be significant. The difference, as measured by the end result, is null. They Church needed to handle this as a PR thing, so they had to find some way to save the situation while, supposedly, not compromising their claims of power.

A great example of this logic just happened in Colorado in the US. A church hospital is being sued because a women 28 weeks pregnant with twins died while waiting for treatment in the ER. The twins died too. The church took the position that they couldn't be charged with the death of the twins because state law defines a 'life" as beginning with birth.

Immediately the outrage broke, and when everyone questioned their "life begins at conception (except if it's going to cost us a bunch of money)" position they flipped, now saying there was miss-communication between the hospital and their lawyers.

In the end it's all about the same thing. The church want's power and money, and that's all that matters.

wa
14:00 February 15, 2013 by Firmino
Why are still people listening to what these guys say as if it were relevant? Why, why, why????
Today's headlines
Wolf spotted in North Rhine-Westphalia
File photo: DPA

Wolf spotted in North Rhine-Westphalia

Camera traps have spotted a wolf for the second time in a month in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state environment ministry reported on Friday. READ  

German ranchers murdered in Paraguay
Paraguayan police on patrol in an area known to contain EPP rebels. File photo: DPA

German ranchers murdered in Paraguay

The Foreign Ministry in Berlin confirmed that two Germans living in Paraguay were kidnapped and killed earlier this week. READ  

AfD braces for busy conference weekend
"Vote AfD!" reads the flyover message. Photo: DPA

AfD braces for busy conference weekend

As leaders of the Germany's anti-Euro upstart party Alternative for Germany (AfD) prepare for its party conference this weekend, the potential for chaos is rising. READ  

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos
Snow in Oberharz. Photo: DPA

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos

UPDATE: Two people were rescued from avalanches as a blast of winter has taken Germany by surprise, while snow and ice accounted for several traffic accidents across the country on Friday. READ  

BND collects 220 million phone records a day
Photo: DPA

BND collects 220 million phone records a day

Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) collects 220 million pieces of information about foreign phone calls and SMS every day, Zeit Online reported on Friday. READ  

U-turn on minimum wage for foreign drivers
Photo: DPA

U-turn on minimum wage for foreign drivers

Germany temporarily hit the brakes Friday on applying its new minimum wage to foreign truck drivers transiting the country in a move welcomed by Poland, which vigorously opposed the system. READ  

Crises make Germany EU foreign policy leader
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Crises make Germany EU foreign policy leader

Foreign policy think-tank the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) gave Germany top marks in its annual check-up of EU member states released on Thursday. READ  

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years
Photo: DPA

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years

New figures released Friday by federal statistics office Destatis are numbers breweries can drink to, as German beer consumption saw its first year-on-year rise since 2006. READ  

Germany has thousands of uni spots open
Photo: DPA

Germany has thousands of uni spots open

New research published by Spiegel on Friday shows that there are thousands of university placesa unoccupied across the country, while certain hot spots cope with too much demand. READ  

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'
Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp at a press conference. Photo: DPA

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'

Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp admits feeling the pressure as his side resume their fight to stay in Germany's top flight on Saturday at fellow Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,462
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd