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Nordic Bishops: Matic’s report on sexual and reproductive health, “positive points but there is no right to abortion”. Protecting freedom of conscience

There are “lots of positive points in this report” but “we disagree” with “abortion being classed as a health measure and a human right”: it is the Bishop of Copenhagen, mgr. Czeslaw Kozon, who, in his capacity as the president of the Nordic Bishops’ Conference, signed a statement about the report on sexual and reproductive health and attendant rights in the EU, as part of women’s health, submitted by MEP Predrag Fred Matic. The Nordic Bishops’ reasons for disagreeing with the report: firstly, “by definition, health measures and human rights are aimed at protecting people’s health and lives” and an unborn baby’s life “cannot be left out”. Secondly, “it would further marginalise those people, institutions and countries that are against abortion, making them look as if they were against human rights”. Thirdly, it is an initiative that “unduly interferes with the legitimate independence of each member state in working out its own laws about abortion and other ethical matters”. And, lastly, the report that defines the right to conscientious objection as a “problem and a challenge” actually “endangers the individuals’ right to follow their own moral and religious beliefs”. It has been asked therefore that “the complex issue of abortion may remain, for everyone’s sake, at the centre of an enlightened public debate”. While on one hand the Catholic Bishops defend “human life from conception until natural death”, they also work “for individuals, politicians and institutions to be entitled to question abortion without being left out or discriminated against”.

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