FRANKFURT AM MAIN – The Co-President of the German Synodal Way has doubled down on her controversial pro-abortion remarks.
During the Fourth Assembly of the Synodal Way, laywoman Irme Stetter-Karp addressed the criticism her comments sparked and said that it must be possible to “talk about the question of provision [of abortion]”.
Stetter-Karp had said in July that “a nationwide provision of the medical intervention of abortion must be ensured”. After her controversial anti-life comment, a petition calling for her resignation was begun by lay Catholics.
During an address at the Fourth Synodal Assembly on September 8, 2022, Stetter-Karp called the criticism of her statement a “campaign” against her. She claimed that the lay organization “Maria 1.0” and the German Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost launched chain letters to her private address that labeled her a murderer and called for her excommunication.
The editor-in-chief of Die Tagespost, Guido Horst, responded to the allegations by saying that the newspaper had “neither started a campaign against Stetter-Karp nor initiated chain letters.” He acknowledged that Die Tagespost did, however, comment on Stetter-Karp’s pro-abortion statements from a Catholic perspective and she would “have to be able to live with that.”
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Stetter-Karp continued her address by saying that she is willing to defend Paragraph 218 of German criminal law (which regulates abortion in Germany), calling the legislation a “hard-won compromise.” Directly addressing her previous comments about providing nationwide access to abortion, she said: “I continue to believe that it is necessary to expect the results of a consultation [of women seeking an abortion] to be open, but this means that it must also be possible to talk about the question of provision [of abortion access], as sensitive and delicate as that is.”
With these words, she reaffirmed her position that access to abortion should be provided across Germany.
The law that Stetter-Karp says she wants to defend, Paragraph 218 of German criminal law, recognizes the right to life of the unborn. However, it also allows for abortion in certain cases. Pregnant women and doctors have impunity from punishment if the woman demands the abortion at least three days after having mandatory counsel, and if conception happened not more than 12 weeks before. Because of this regulation, about 100,000 unborn babies are killed through abortion in Germany every year.