|Vatican||VATICAN WANTS GERMAN CHURCH TO CHANGE ABORTION CLINIC POLICY|
The Vatican is likely to pressure German Catholic abortion counselling clinics to adopt a tougher anti-abortion stance following the perceived failure of new wording on certificates issued by the centres.
Germany's bishops held talks on the highly emotive issue with the Pope and senior aides on Wednesday at the Pontiff's summer residence at Castelgandolfo.
Under German law, a woman seeking an abortion must first discuss her situation with an advisory service in order to get a certificate proving she has had counselling. German Catholic counselling services were told by the Vatican last June to add a sentence to certificates they issued stating that they ``cannot be used for legally carrying out abortions.'' But it is claimed that the additional clause had not changed the situation and the certificates were still being used for ``access to abortion.''
Anti-abortion activists and church members in Germany have argued that being able to issue the certificates increased the number of women seeking counselling by Catholic groups. This, in turn, would increase the chance they would change their minds about having an abortion.
Reuters 11:12am 17/9/99