Friday, February 22, 2013

"Morning-after pill" - statement of German Bishops Conference in English

Moral theological issues related to rape ("morning-after pill ")
The Assembly in the light of current events considered the moral theological aspects
of the administration of the so-called "morning after" pill for women, who have fallen victim to rape.

Cardinal Karl Lehmann (Mainz) as chairman of the Doctrinal Commission of the German Bishops' Conference described the moral theological evaluation of the use of a so-called "morning after" pill on the basis of scientific knowledge about the availability of new medications with altered the mode of action.

Cardinal Joachim Meisner (Cologne) explained the background to his declaration of 31 January 2013, following the actual case of the turning away of a rape victim by two hospitals run by religious orders in Cologne, which he issued, in consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The Assembly reaffirms that women in Catholic hospitals, who are the victims of rape should, of course, receive human, medical, psychological and pastoral assistance.

This may include the administration of a "morning-after pill" insofar as it has a contraceptive and not an abortifacient effect.

Medical and pharmaceutical methods that cause the death of an embryo may not in the future be applied. The German bishops have confidence that in Catholic operated facilities the practical; treatment decision will be based on these moral theological requirements. In any case, the decision is to respect the woman concerned.

The Assembly recognizes the need, besides first comments on the "morning after pill" to examine in greater depth the wider context of the question - in contact with the person responsible in Rome - to discover and make the necessary distinctions. The bishops are in appropriate discussions with the leaders of the Catholic hospitals, with Catholic gynecologists and physicians, as well as with consultants.

Text in German See Foul Play by German Bishops
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