By Melissa Eddy, New York Times/World Briefing, Feb. 21/22, 2012
In a softening of their hard-line stance toward the use of contraception, Germany's Roman Catholic bishops said Thursday that hospitals run by the church could provide women who had been raped with versions of the morning-after pill that prevent fertilization. The Catholic Church has faced strong criticism after a rape victim was recently turned away by two hospitals it runs in Cologne, because staff members were concerned about having to counsel the woman about emergency contraception. In a statement issued Thursday, the bishops said they had not been aware that various forms of emergency contraception were available, and after consulting with medical experts and with the Vatican, agreed that administering drugs that in no way aborted a fertilized egg was justified in cases of rape. The bishops said the new policy would be discussed with hospitals run by the church to ensure that “women who have been the victims of rape are provided human, medical, psychological and pastoral support,” which could include “administration of the morning-after pill.”
Catholic bishops give cautious nod to morning-after pill
Deutsche Welle, Feb. 21, 2013
[....] The church was forced to clarify its stance after the decision of German cardinal Joachim Meisner to allow the use of some morning after pills at church hospital in his Cologne archdiocese. He changed the policy after two church hospitals refused to treat a rape victim by prescribing the pill - a move that attracted national attention.
Meisner said last month that the church was "deeply ashamed by this incident because it goes against our Christian mission." [....]