Germany’s abortion law: made by the Nazis, upheld by today’s right
An old 1930s law that hinders women’s access to information about terminations has survived public protest – and is being exploited by anti-abortion groups
Wed 8 Jan 2020
It’s like the holocaust only worse, according to babycaust.de, the German website dedicated to abortion, or as they call it: “The mass murder of unborn children.”
Every country has its nutters. The problem with these particular nutters is that their website is your best bet if you need to find a doctor who performs abortions in Germany. It provides a full list of practitioners with the “licence to kill” by town and postcode, decorated with images of hacked-up babies in petri dishes, some of them made into gifs to show the blood still dripping. Whatever for? They obviously don’t want you to go to these doctors. But they do want to make it easier for you to report these “killers” to the police.
German doctor fined again over abortion advertising ban
by The Associated Press
Posted Dec 12, 2019
BERLIN — A German doctor has been convicted for the second time of violating a ban on advertising abortions in a case that has become a rallying point for opponents of the law.
News agency dpa reported Thursday that Kristina Haenel was fined 2,500 euros ($2,775) by the state court in the central city of Giessen. Alongside the fine, it made clear that it wasn’t convinced the law is in line with Germany’s constitution.
The Growing Fight Against Nazi-Era Abortion Limits
Her case exposed Germany's abortion laws for a new generation — and she's not stopping there.
By Fiona Zublin
Nov 8 2019
In 2017, Kristina Hänel — a wiry German doctor with kind eyes and a cool outdoorsy aunt vibe — became a cause. She’s a doctor who offers abortion services, and she, as others had been before her, was fined $6,700 (€6,000) for “advertising” the procedure on her website.
What sets her apart is the fight. Her ongoing battle against that fine, expected to go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, has sparked a new interest in abortion rights among Germany’s younger generation. Hänel might seem an unlikely ringleader: The 63-year-old grandmother of five, who plays the accordion and rides horses in her spare time, spent her life focused on medicine, not activism. But performing abortions, particularly in modern Germany, is activism — and Hänel is the reason many people now know that.
German doctor fined for advertising abortion under law that goes back to Hitler’s Reich
Kristina Völk and Peter Conradi, Giessen
July 14 2019
The Sunday Times
Tucked away in a nondescript modern building between a mobile phone shop and a branch of McDonald’s, Kristina Hänel’s surgery seems at first glance typical of countless GP practices across Germany. The plate outside the door gives only her name, followed by “Specialist in general medicine”.
Yet Hänel, 62, from Giessen, a university town north of Frankfurt, is at the forefront of a protracted battle being waged in Germany’s courts, media and parliament to change restrictive abortion laws that date back to the Nazi era.
German Cabinet backs compromise in abortion dispute
By Associated Press
BERLIN — Germany’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved legislation that would loosen, but not scrap, a ban on doctors “advertising” abortions, in an attempt to bridge a divide between the country’s governing parties.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior governing partners, the center-left Social Democrats, wanted to remove the ban from Germany’s criminal code. It provides for a fine or a prison sentence of up to two years. But Merkel’s center-right party insisted it should stay.
Germany's cabinet approves revision to Nazi-era abortion law
Doctors are currently banned from advertising services and offering information online
Emily Schultheis in Berlin
Wed 6 Feb 2019
Germany’s cabinet has approved a revision to the country’s controversial, Nazi-era abortion law, a move that – pending parliamentary approval – would allow doctors and medical associations to provide women with more information about where and how to seek abortions.
Under the current law – paragraph 219a of Germany’s criminal code – doctors are prohibited from advertising abortion services or providing information about abortions on their websites. German law allows abortions during the first trimester, but uses various measures, such as the advertising ban, which came into force in 1933, to in effect discourage women from obtaining them.
Explained: Germany's plans to change controversial abortion laws
30 January 2019
Germany has agreed in principle to easing a Nazi-era law that makes it illegal for doctors to provide information on abortion services. But the move has received mixed reactions. Here’s what you need to know.
Why is abortion in the news? Germany is proposing to soften paragraph 219a which makes it a crime for doctors to ‘advertise’ abortions and share information on terminating unwanted pregnancies.
Abortion law brings first test for Merkel’s successor as CDU leader
Kramp-Karrenbauer, who wants to win back conservative voters, opposed to law change
Thu, Dec 13, 2018
Derek Scally in Berlin
A week after assuming the party leadership, the chairwoman of Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has her first fight on her hands, over abortion.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and her officials have struck a compromise with the CDU’s coalition partner over a controversial law forbidding doctors from informing patients – in advertisements or on their websites – that they offer abortion services.
Germany's medical system sidelines abortion
Abortion doctors can be hard to find in Germany. In some cities there are none, and their number appears to be declining, while medical schools often fail to teach the procedure so crucial to women. Papayas help a bit.
Author Nancy Isenson
Around 101,200 abortions were performed in Germany in 2017, or 277 each day. It's not exactly a rare procedure. Which is why future doctor Alicia Baier was disturbed to find that abortion played virtually no role in her studies at Berlin's Charité university medical school.
"In six years of studies, in which we learn many details that we will not need later, we learn almost nothing about such an important intervention," she says.
German parties to vote on 'out of date' Nazi-era abortion law
Doctors face two-year jail sentences for advertising or giving information on abortion
Kate Connolly in Berlin
Sun 11 Mar 2018
A debate over proposals to scrap a Nazi-era law that forbids German doctors from providing information on abortion is expected to set the tone of the new coalition government when it is voted on this week.
Under paragraph 219a of the German penal code, it is a crime to advertise, offer or give information on abortion services, and those found guilty of doing so can face a two-year jail sentence or a hefty fine.