John Simkin Posted March 30, 2005 Share Posted March 30, 2005 On Easter Sunday Cormac Murphy O’Connor, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, attempted to draw a parallel between the Nazi extermination of the Jews and Britain’s abortion policies. To reinforce this he argued that there had been the “termination of six million lives in the womb since the Abortion Act was introduced”. He added that the “developments in stem-cell research, euthanasia and IVF are taking us” towards the situation in Nazi Germany. This seems to be both poor history and incompetent politics. The Catholic Church has lost millions of supporters because of its 19th century views on sex (including my wife and all her sisters). However, to link those in favour of abortion with Nazi Germany is going to make a lot of non-Catholics very angry. Although Tony Blair and Ruth Kelly support the Catholic Church’s views on abortion, politicians cannot be seen to be seen as associated with such a smear on those women who make such a difficult decision to have their pregnancies terminated. Interestingly, it was only in 1869 that the Roman Catholic Church decided that all abortion was homicide. This was the work of the reactionary Pius IX. Up until that time (based on the teachings of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas) the Church did not see the foetus in the early stages of pregnancy as a human person. Augustine in fact compared the foetus in the early stages of pregnancy to vegetation. It is also a myth that Nazi Germany was in favour of abortion. In fact, it was virtually impossible to get an abortion (or birth-control help) in Nazi Germany. Instead, women were encouraged to have very large families. As Isle McKee, a member of the German Girls' League, recalled in her experiences in her autobiography. We were told from a very early age to prepare for motherhood, as the mother in the eyes of our beloved leader and the National Socialist Government was the most important person in the nation. We were Germany's hope in the future, and it was our duty to breed and rear the new generation of sons and daughter. These lessons soon bore fruit in the shape of quite a few illegitimate small sons and daughters for the Reich, brought forth by teenage members of the League of German Maidens. The girls felt they had done their duty and seemed remarkably unconcerned about the scandal. Martha Dodd, My Years in Germany (1939) wrote: Young girls from the age of ten onward were taken into organizations where they were taught only two things: to take care of their bodies so they could bear as many children as the state needed and to be loyal to National Socialism. Though the Nazis have been forced to recognize, through the lack of men, that not all women can get married. Huge marriage loans are floated every year whereby the contracting parties can borrow substantial sums from the government to be repaid slowly or to be cancelled entirely upon the birth of enough children. Birth control information is frowned on and practically forbidden. Despite the fact that Hitler and the other Nazis are always ranting about "Volk ohne Raum" (a people without space) they command their men and women to have more children. Women have been deprived for all rights except that of childbirth and hard labour. They are not permitted to participate in political life - in fact Hitler's plans eventually include the deprivation of the vote; they are refused opportunities of education and self-expression; careers and professions are closed to them. Maybe it was Germany’s policy on birth-control and abortion that was the real reason why the Roman Catholic Church decided not to criticise Hitler's domestic policies. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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