German government turns values upside down

29-06-2023

Opinion

David Wengenroth, Idea

Protesters display placards reading: "My life, my choice" during a pro-choice counter demonstration coinciding with the annual anti-abortion "March for Life" in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Photo AFP, John Macdougall

Instead of protecting the right to life, the German government protects the right to kill, David Wengenroth writes.

Never before in the Federal Republic of Germany has a government declared war on unborn life as openly as the traffic light coalition. It is one year since the governing coalition pushed through the deletion of section 219a of the penal code, which forbids advertising for abortions. Even then, the Greens, in particular, made no secret of the fact that the abolition of the ban on advertising abortions was only the beginning. The Green Minister for Family Affairs, Lisa Paus, promotes regulating abortions "outside criminal law". In doing so, she supposedly wants to end the stigmatisation of unintentionally pregnant women. In reality, she is waging a cultural war against the Christian values of our democracy.

Killing is "decriminalised

The extent to which this set of values goes against the grain of the minister is shown by her push for a law against so-called "pavement harassment". She uses this derogatory term to describe the silent prayer vigils of pro-lifers in front of abortion-related facilities. In a question and answer session of the Bundestag, Paus revealed a telltale detail of her plans: the ban on vigils is to be regulated in the penal code - in the very paragraph 218 from which the prohibition of abortions is to be deleted.

In concrete terms, this means that while the killing of unborn children is being "decriminalised", peaceful expressions of opinion by pro-life activists are to be criminalised. This turns the values of the Constitution upside down. The state will then no longer protect the right to life (Article 2 of the Constitution) but a right to kill - which does not exist in our legal system.

Using freedom of expression

Fortunately, in our country, even governing coalitions are not allowed to simply override the fundamental values of the Constitution. In 1975, the Federal Constitutional Court made it clear that the state must protect unborn life. The Federal Administrative Court has now published a decision stating that a blanket ban on prayer vigils in front of abortion-related facilities violates the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of assembly and religion.

But this is no reason to sound the all-clear. The champions of the "right to abortion" are working tenaciously to shift the consensus of values in our society. And they are succeeding. Many people are no longer even aware that unborn children have a right to life. Even Protestant women's associations now see abortion only as a question of "reproductive self-determination". Those who are not indifferent to this reversal of the fundamental values of our free society must make use of their freedom of opinion and vociferously disagree.

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