A closer look at Germany’s abortion law
February 1, 2020
By Monika Müller-Kroll
Studio Berlin, broadcast Feb. 1, 2020 (25 minute podcast)
It’s been almost a year since the German parliament voted to amend Paragraph 219a, regarding the advertisement of abortion services, in the country’s criminal code. What does this look like in practice, and what are abortion rights activists and opponents calling for in 2020?
Host Sylvia Cunningham takes a closer look at Germany’s abortion law with Kate Cahoon from the pro abortion rights group, Bündnis für sexuelle Selbstbestimmung, Dr. Alicia Baier from Doctors for Choice Germany, and Dr. Paul Cullen, chairman of Ärzte für das Leben (Doctors for Life).
The Renaissance of Germany’s Abortion Rights Movement
By Kathleen Brown
March 15, 2018
As Germany’s natalist far right rises, a growing progressive movement is challenging the country’s Nazi-era abortion laws.
In November 2017, German doctor Kristina Hänel was found guilty of breaking Paragraph 219a of the German Criminal Code and fined €6,000 by the Gießen District Court. Her crime? Listing abortion as a medical service on her practice’s website.
Dr. Hänel was charged under Nazi-era Paragraph 219a, which criminalizes advertising abortion services. The offense is punishable with up to two years in prison for anyone who publicly “offers, announces or recommends services for pregnancy termination.” In court, Hänel’s defense lawyer argued that her website remains informational and does not meet the definition of advertising. Nonetheless, the Gießen judge found Dr. Hänel guilty, justifying the ruling, “Lawmakers do not want to discuss abortion in public as if it were a normal thing.” Except, as Dr. Hänel and many women know, abortion is a normal thing. Over 100,000 individuals in Germany choose to terminate unwanted pregnancies each year.
'Abortion in Germany - where providing information is a crime'
12 February 2018
It is high time that Germany scraps a 1930s law that forbids doctors from providing women with complete information on how to terminate a pregnancy, argues Kate Cahoon.
Germany is seen as a pretty liberal country. Alcohol is sold in supermarkets and is practically cheaper than bottled water, kids can buy a large enough quantity of fireworks to blow up a small house, and gay marriage is legal (okay, only since last year, but Christopher Street Day in Berlin attracts such a crowd it’s almost a public holiday). But there are some things you can’t do – particularly if you’re a woman and say, pregnant, or a doctor who carries out pregnancy terminations.