The government is following through on its pledge to decriminalize abortion. Officials plan to abolish a law that subjects doctors who publish information on abortion procedures to prosecution.
"I really struggled to find information online," said Verena, who was 22 when she found herself dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. "There was no easy way to find out which doctors perform abortions, where they are or how the procedure is performed."
Abortion is illegal in Germany and punishable by up to three years in prison. But the women and their doctors do not face penalties if the pregnancy poses a health risk to the woman or in cases of rape. Otherwise, an abortion may be carried out within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (14 weeks since the last period) after mandatory counseling. However, many barriers remain.
Majority vote ends law banning doctors from offering information about abortion procedures
Philip Oltermann in Berlin
Fri 24 Jun 2022
Germany has abolished a Nazi-era law that criminalises doctors who provide information about abortion procedures.
The governing social democrat, liberal and green parties, as well as the leftwing Die Linke, provided sufficient votes on Friday to scrap paragraph 219a of the German criminal code, which meant any doctor who publicly “offers, announces [or] advertises” abortion services could face penalties of up to two years’ imprisonment or a fine.
48 minute podcast
April 26, 2022
Meg Dalton, Jonathan Chang, Meghna Chakrabarti
From Nazi Germany to Mussolini's Italy, fascist regimes shared an early target: Women.
"The fascists passed laws criminalizing abortion both for doctors performing, for people providing information for women seeking," professor Anne Wingenter says.
Germany’s cabinet ministers back law that will allow doctors to provide information about abortions, but the procedures remain limited.
9 Mar 2022
Germany’s cabinet has approved legislation that will do away with a Nazi-era law forbidding doctors from providing information about abortions.
The bill put forward by Justice Minister Marco Buschmann on Wednesday must now be debated by both houses of parliament.
Doctors are currently banned from advertising abortion services and offering information online
Kate Connolly in Berlin
Tue 18 Jan 2022
A Nazi-era law banning doctors from giving women information about abortions is to be scrapped by Germany’s new government in a decision welcomed by activists who have long argued that it has hampered women’s ability to make informed choices.
The justice minister, Marco Buschmann, said that he will ditch Paragraph 219a from the penal code after almost 90 years, meaning that doctors will no longer have to fear prosecution if they provide information about the procedure.
January 17, 2022
BERLIN, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Germany's justice ministry presented a draft law on Monday that would do away with a Nazi-era law forbidding doctors to provide information about abortions.
Doctors in Germany are allowed to say they offer termination of pregnancies but are not allowed to provide any further information on such procedures.
The draft bill states that ‘physicians must be able to support women in this difficult situation without fear of prosecution.’
BY LOUIS WESTENDARP
January 17, 2022
German Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann announced Monday the coalition government is set to lift the country's ban on abortion advertising.
The justice ministry submitted a draft law Monday, as it bids to end what Buschmann called an "untenable" situation on women's reproductive rights.
Poland has virtually banned abortion, and the United States is also looking at tightening restrictions. But other countries, like Thailand and Benin, have started to loosen their restrictive measures. An overview.
Access to abortion has become easier over the decades, according to Leah Hoctor, the senior regional director for Europe at the Center for Reproductive Rights. She said that, with some exceptions, the global trend clearly points at liberalization. Several countries saw developments on the controversial issue over the last year.
Mexico: Penalizing abortion ruled unconstitutional
In September, the Supreme Court in Mexico, Latin America's second most populous country, declared an absolute ban on abortion unconstitutional. The right of women to reproductive self-determination is to be valued more highly than the protection of the fetus, the court said. With the ruling, the judges overturned an abortion ban in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila.
Germany has seen a dramatic reduction in the number of doctors who will perform abortions. Now, a telemedicine pilot project wants to help women enact their right to reproductive self-determination.
Anna and her partner had been using a copper coil IUD as a contraceptive for two years before they found themselves staring, stunned at a positive pregnancy test. The chances of conceiving had been slim: Fewer than one in 100 women will become pregnant while using the internal contraceptive.
Anna, who was 26 at the time, and her partner didn't feel ready to start a family. Both financial constraints and a lack of support in the family played a role in their decision to terminate the pregnancy — a choice that wasn't easy to make.
Nov 24, 2021
BERLIN — Germany’s new government plans to do away with a Nazi-era law that forbids doctors from providing information about abortions and that has long been criticized for creating hurdles for women seeking to make informed decisions.
“Doctors should be allowed to provide public information about abortions without fear of prosecution,” the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Free Democrats said in their agreement to form a coalition government on Wednesday.