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).
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.
In Brief: Berlin court fines gynecologist for improper ‘advertising’ of services under Germany’s amended abortion law
The conviction of Berlin gynecologist Dr. Bettina Gaber comes after part of Germany’s law on abortion was altered in
December 4, 2019
By Sylvia Cunningham
Dr. Bettina Gaber must now pay a fine of 2,000 euros for stating on her practice’s website that “a medicinal, anesthesia-free abortion in a protected atmosphere is also one of our services.”
This conviction comes after part of Germany’s law on abortion was altered in February. The revised paragraph 219a says doctors can state that they perform abortions but provide no further information. Instead they can direct patients to resources maintained by the German Medical Association.
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.
Activists in Germany demand legalization of abortion
Abortion in Germany, while pratically possible for most women, technically remains a criminal offence in all cases. Opponents of the laws want a full legalization, but that alone won't improve access, some activists say.
There, in the German Criminal Code, between the laws on murder and abandonment, sit paragraphs 218 and 219. They pertain to — and criminalize — abortion in Germany. On Saturday, activists will be taking to the streets to demand the paragraphs' removal as part of a global abortion rights demonstration.
Sarah Thibol, activist with the feminist organization Frauen*Kollektiv in Cologne, is one of many planning to protest. Her personal goal is "that women realize abortions are not legal in German. So many people are surprised the first time they hear that."
Europe’s patchwork of abortion laws is absurd. Rights must be made universal
By Brinkwire on July 24, 2019
When I was 30, in 2011, I had an abortion. I was living in Berlin, a city known, since the fall of the Wall, for championing freedom. Or at least it was until attention turned to my womb. Born in France in the 1980s, and brought up on the internet, the Erasmus European studies programme and love without borders, I was under the happy illusion that everything relating to women’s bodies – from abortion to assisted reproduction – was covered by rights secured after long, hard struggles.
I blithely assumed that the milestones on the road to liberating French women – the May 1968 uprising, the 1971 “Manifesto of the 343” signed by women admitting to having had an abortion, Simone Veil, the health minister who legalised abortion, and the first test-tube babies – were all sufficiently European to be taken for granted, whatever the language.
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 court overturns abortion advertising conviction
July 3, 2019
BERLIN (AP) — A German court has overturned a doctor’s conviction for advertising abortions after the government loosened rules on the issue.
Kristina Haenel was fined 6,000 euros ($6,775) in 2017 by a court in Giessen after stating on her website that she carried out abortions. That violated a German law that bans “advertising” the procedure, and which carries a fine or a prison sentence of up to two years.
A higher court in Frankfurt said Wednesday it overturned the conviction and ordered a retrial. The ruling followed a compromise reached by Germany’s governing coalition earlier this year. Under the deal, the ban formally remains but doctors and hospitals are allowed to say on their websites they perform abortions, without giving more detailed information.
German doctors convicted over abortion law
The doctors were found to have broken a regulation that forbids describing how an abortion is performed. Campaigners have argued that lack of access to information is a health and rights issue.
Two Berlin gynecologists were fined €2,000 euros ($2,250) on Friday for violating Germany's controversial Paragraph 219a law, which forbids doctors from "advertising" that they perform abortions. The doctors had been facing penalties of up to €7,500 euros.
Despite a recent reform of the law that gave doctors the right to state on their websites that they offer the service, the law still forbids them from describing how they perform the procedure. "The situation is simple," said presiding Judge Christine Mathiak.