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Photo by Kateryna Hliznitsova on Unsplash
Photo by Kateryna Hliznitsova on Unsplash
World News

'Human dignity exists from the very beginning': German Catholic Church condemns abortion de-criminalisation

An independent commission's recommendation to decriminalise abortion within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in Germany has sparked condemnation from the Catholic Church.

Irme Stetter-Karp, president of the Central Committee of German Catholics, swiftly criticised the proposal, stating: “The commission is considering legalising abortion in the early stages of pregnancy. This would mean the end of a clear concept of life protection. Human dignity exists from the very beginning,” and further remarked that the proposal was “unacceptable.”

The recommendation was made by an expert panel convened by Germany's progressive government coalition under Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Presently, in Germany, abortion falls under illegal acts but is exempt from punishment if certain conditions are met, such as mandatory counselling and a waiting period.

Frauke Brosius-Gersdorf, a law professor and member of the commission, emphasised the need for change by saying: “Our recommendation is to move away from this illegality and to label abortion in the early stages of pregnancy as legal,” highlighting how significant such a change would be for women contemplating an abortion. She added, “This is not simply a makes a big difference to the women concerned.”

The proposed shift seeks to liberalise Germany’s stringent abortion laws compared to other European nations and has reignited discussions on abortion rights within the country.

Meanwhile, countries like France have recently enshrined abortion rights in their constitution.

The commission also suggested that lawmakers decide on abortion’s legality during pregnancy's middle phase and recommended restricting abortions in the last trimester unless strong medical or social reasons exist.

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