In a guest article on “Felt” on Tuesday, four members of the synodal track contradicted Ermi Stetter-Carpe’s call to make abortions nationwide possible. Theologians Katharina Westerhorstmann and Marian Schlosser, religious philosopher Hanna-Barbara Gerl Falkowitz and independent journalist and Tagpost author Dorothea Schmidt respond to a controversial guest article by the Chairman of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) in “Zeit”.
distortion of the medical profession
The authors caution that introducing abortion as a mandatory part of medical training, Stetter-Karp claims, would be a misrepresentation of the medical profession. The authors wrote: “Defending the protection of vulnerable persons without discrimination is clearly the Christian duty at the present time, and must be conveyed most clearly as one of the priority concerns of the ‘Congregational Path’.” Obviously, this is especially true for members of the Executive Committee – including Stetter Karp.
Allow abortion nationwide?
Stetter-Karp’s claim to effectively secure future availability of abortion options in Germany presupposes that abortion is a medical service that should be available everywhere and at all times and to which an individual is entitled. “Only the good that corresponds to justice and therefore the good can be distributed comprehensively in the moral sense,” the four members of the Synodal Assembly told the President of the ZDK. According to the Christian and legal point of view, abortion is not a legitimate benefit, but an illegal procedure in most cases, which simply remains unpunished. The authors state that abortion is wrong because it causes the death of a defenseless person.
A child’s right to life versus a woman’s right to self-determination
It also contradicts Ermi Stetter-Carp’s statement that her position is compatible with the equality of women’s right to self-determination and the right of children to life. “However, the right to life is actually subject to self-determination. However, for a woman who may feel compelled to have an abortion under tremendous internal or external pressure, this self-determination is a fantasy,” the authors explain. Leaving people to decide their own destiny rather than helping to alleviate suffering and removing obstacles to a dignified life is a risk the authors also see in other areas of life protection. They explained that this is why the church opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The authors agree that it is part of the defense of individual dignity that women experiencing pregnancy, or did not want it or need it, get the comprehensive support they need. However, a mother who is worthy of protection, especially with regard to her right to self-determination, cannot conflict with the child’s right to life: freedom “always ends with the freedom of the other” and “must always be oriented towards the good if it ought not to be arbitrary” This is the philosophical reflection of the four members of the Synod. Good is not arbitrary and all human needs cannot be justified by the legitimate desire for freedom: “In particular, the protection of life and the bodily integrity of the individual must be opposed with all efforts that deny the right to life of the weak.” to a liberal understanding of freedom that is not oriented towards good and only wants sacrifice.” DT / fha
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