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German Bishops: Matic report, “protecting the health of women and the unborn”. “Beware of populism and false Christian positions”.

“We share the concern to protect women’s health and rights, which also underlies the draft resolution. However, there are some issues in the Matić report that are of concern to us”, said Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, chair of the Committee for Social Issues of the German Bishops’ Conference, joining the voices of those who question the so-called “Matic Report” on sexual and reproductive health that will be voted on in this week’s plenary session of the European Parliament (23-24 June). In line with what the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) previously said on 17 June, Mgr Overbeck explains that “at the heart of our concern is the protection of the inviolable, inalienable and equal dignity of all human beings”, including “the protection of women from exploitation, oppression and violence, as well as the protection of their physical and mental integrity, dignity and rights”. But there is also a need to include “the unborn life, because even the unborn has a right to human dignity, to life and to an intrinsic right to be protected, from the start”. According to the German Bishop, it is “a matter of concern” that the report in question “does not take into account the rights of the unborn”. Surely, the Church upholds “the inviolable dignity of every life, including in particular that of the unborn child”, but Mgr Overbeck rejects any “attempt by populists and extremists” to exploit the issue: “With their slogans about the protection of life, they represent positions that are only falsely Christian which they are happy to ignore in other contexts”.

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