Two Catholic hospitals in Cologne declined to give emergency contraceptives to a rape victim. The archbishopric in Cologne has now changed its mind - and has also shown an impressive capacity for contraceptive nuance.
That the Catholic Church intends unequivocally to protect conceived life is nothing new. What has changed is how Cologne Cardinal Joachim Meisner approaches the "morning-after" pill.
Through his spokesman Christoph Heckley, the Cardinal issued a personal explanation on Thursday (31.01.2013) which read: "If, after a rape, a supplement is used with the intend of preventing fertilization, that is in my view justifiable." Heckley reiterated once again, however, that everything which is abortive in nature is not allowed.
Cardinal Meisner's change of heart is the result of consultations with specialists. He now understands that certain forms of the "morning-after" pill prevent conception and are not technically abortive. This suggests that the Cologne church leader previously believed that all kinds of pills which could be taken by a woman after intercourse prevented an already fertilized egg cell from implanting in the uterus.