The Belgian Bishops’ Conference warns against the consequences of a revision of the law on abortion which would lead to a broadening of the legal time period allowed to obtain an abortion.
Belgium is trying to fill the remaining “gap” between itself and some of its European neighbors in terms of abortion. After having completely decriminalized it in hospitals in October 2018, the legislature is preparing to widen the conditions of application.
If the revision of the law is adopted, the term for an abortion would be extended to 18 weeks after the beginning of the pregnancy, and the period of reflection reduced to 48 hours. Abortion would thus become a very ordinary medical act, among many others.
Reacting to this gloomy prospect, the Belgian Bishops’ Conference issued a statement on November 12, 2019, calling for yet another “substantive debate” on the issue.
“Beyond a change in practice, this is a change in the meaning of abortion: abortion becomes an ordinary medical intervention,” explain the Belgian prelates.
The deadly bill is likely to come into force. Without a government for eleven months, the ministers in office are only pushing through the day-to-day business, leaving the political initiatives to Parliament.
For information purposes, about thirty thousand abortions are performed each year in Belgium, while in neighboring France, health insurance has identified 216,700 performed in 2017.
If this is the position to be taken, it is the least we can expect from an episcopate. However, the arguments they’ve developed belong purely to the natural realm – “the feeling and the experience of the people,” the protection of life, the question of legal limits, the importance of the debate for “the society and each of us”... But they do not bring up the fact that this is a crime against an innocent and a very grave sin against God.
If the arguments from the natural order are not insignificant, especially today, the bishops must not be afraid to preach first Jesus Christ and His law.