Abortions in first 12 weeks should be fully legalised in Germany, commission says

By Friederike Heine
April 15, 2024
(with video)

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany should lift all restrictions on abortion within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy but keep its ban on the procedure after foetal viability, around 22 weeks, a government-appointed commission said on Monday.

Women in Germany now typically require counselling to obtain a legal abortion within the first 12 weeks, with exceptions including for victims of violent crime. There are no time restrictions for abortions if the mother's life is in danger.

"The fundamental illegality of abortion in the early phase of pregnancy is untenable," said Liane Woerner, a law professor at Konstanz University and a member of the 18-member panel of experts in medicine, psychology, ethics and law.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/abortions-first-12-weeks-should-be-legal-germany-commission-says-2024-04-15/

Germany tries to stop pro-life demonstrators harassing women seeking abortions

Protestors at a demonstration against the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in front of the Brandenburg Gate near the US embassy in Berlin in July 2022.

By Giulia Carbonaro

As the number of pro-life vigils in front of Germany’s family planning centres and clinics grows, the country is trying to prevent these places from becoming the stage of a US-style war for abortion rights.

It was March 2017 when Claudia Hohmann, director of the Pro Familia family planning centre in Frankfurt, saw anti-abortion demonstrators show up with signs and flyers outside the door of her workplace for the very first time.

Continued: https://www.euronews.com/2024/01/30/germany-tries-to-stop-pro-life-demonstrators-harassing-women-seeking-abortions

Germany cracks down on ‘pro-life’ protests

Protests outside abortion clinics and family planning centers are to be banned in Germany. Reproductive rights advocates have long pointed to the influence of US money and tactics on the anti-abortion movement in Europe.

Helen Whittle
Jan 24, 2024

Family Minister Lisa Paus (Green Party) announced on January 24 a draft law to prevent demonstrators from approaching or harassing visitors within a 100-meter (320 ft) radius of abortion clinics and family planning centers. Posters or flyers aimed at intimidating women will also be banned. Anyone violating the ban could be punished with a fine of up to €5,000 ($5,445).

Paus said that it was important that women were able to receive good advice in such difficult situations without being confronted with "hatred and agitation." "That's why we are striking a balance between freedom of expression and the right of assembly," Paus told German public broadcaster ZDF.

Continued: https://www.dw.com/en/germany-cracks-down-on-pro-life-protests/a-64877764

Europe’s growing abortion nightmare

Even in the absence of a ban, for women in need of abortion access, the overall picture is grim — and the worst is yet to come.

JULY 1, 2023
Reporting for this article was carried out by Akmaljon Akhmedjonov, Bernadeta Barokova, Yijing Chen, Pius Fozan, Timotheus Paul Goldinger, Kristina Kovalska, Leila Lawrence, Hanna Perenyi, Carina Samhaber, Stephanie Songer, Marziyeh Taeb, Tripti and Joseph Scioli, masters and PhD students at the Central European University in Vienna, under the editorship of Professor Marius Dragomir.

When she was 19 years old, Anna Peer had an abortion after her intrauterine device malfunctioned. “I didn’t realize at the time how lucky and privileged I was,” said Peer, now 24. “My gynecologist basically carried me through everything.”

But through her work for the Austrian Family Planning Association (ÖGF), an NGO that provides counseling related to reproductive health, Peer now sees “what the system’s actually like.”

Continued: https://www.politico.eu/article/europes-growing-abortion-nightmare/

Safe havens? As some nations restrict access, a look at Europe’s abortion limits

Joanna YORK

As US states and nations such as Poland move towards restricting access to abortions, parts of Europe are seen as something of a safe haven for those looking to terminate pregnancies. However, a look at legislation across the continent shows vast discrepancies and how – even if the procedure is often legal – access to abortion is restricted by hurdles ranging from mandatory counselling to a lack of doctors willing to perform the procedure.

More than 95% of women in Europe live in countries that allow some access to abortion. Some 39 European countries have legalised abortion on request, albeit with some restrictions. Six countries have strict limits in place although only three (Andorra, Malta and San Marino) do not allow abortion at all.

Continued: https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20230419-safe-havens-as-some-nations-restrict-access-a-look-at-europe-s-limits-on-abortion

German abortion clinics targeted by US-style protests

Protests outside abortion clinics and family planning centers are underway in Germany. Reproductive rights advocates point to the influence of US money and tactics on the anti-abortion movement in Germany and Europe.

Helen Whittle
Mar 4, 2023

In the early afternoon on a gray and windy Friday in February, a dozen protesters from EuroProLife slowly began to appear opposite the Pro Familia family planning advice and counseling center in Frankfurt's Westend.

Clutching hymn sheets and rosaries, they chanted the Hail Mary prayer. Some held placards bearing images of smiling babies or a tiny clenched fist with the slogans "Unborn Lives Matter" and "Abortion Is Not a Solution."

Continued: https://www.dw.com/en/german-abortion-clinics-targeted-by-us-style-protests/a-64877764

Germany’s coalition intends to liberalise abortion legislation

Abortion opponents want to protest for 40 days in front of abortion clinics. Germany’s Family minister wants to stop this and secure access to abortion counselling by law.


Every year, the action group ’40 days for life’ organises protests across Europe around Lent. This year is no different in Germany. The demonstrations, modelled on the similar-named international Christian movement from the United States, aim to close down abortion centres through vigils, prayer and fasting.

The actions come as the centre-left German coalition government moves forward with its plans to decriminalise abortion — a plan set out at the beginning of its term. Family Minister Lisa Paus announced a law to give pregnant women who want to have an abortion unrestricted access to relevant counselling centres and medical practices. “Women must have unimpeded access to counselling centres and facilities that carry out abortions,” Paus told the editorial network Germany (RND). “Vigils in front of these institutions are border crossings and unacceptable interference in women’s highly personal decisions. The federal government will counteract this with legal measures.”

Continued: https://cne.news/article/2637-germanys-coalition-intends-to-liberalise-abortion-legislation

Poland’s ban on abortion forces many to seek help in Germany

A Berlin-based activist group seeks to aid the rising number of women seeking help with abortion in Poland.

By Gouri Sharma
Published On 8 Aug 2022

For Zuzu*, an activist with the Berlin-based group Ciocia Basia that assists people seeking an abortion in neighbouring Poland, fielding calls is just one of many responsibilities she carries out.

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Zuzu and other activists working with partner organisation Abortion Without Borders (AWB) told Al Jazeera that the number of calls they are receiving has increased.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2022/8/8/polands-ban-on-abortion-forces-many-to-seek-help-in-germany

German minister proposes that abortion be part of the medical career

By James
July 4, 2022

After the ban on publicizing information about the possibilities of performing or undergoing abortions in the country was recently lifted, Lisa Paus, German Minister for the Family, the Elderly, Women and Youth, said she was convinced that abortions are necessary. more steps in the same direction. The Greens politician told the Berlin “Tagesspiegel” in its Monday edition: “We must not stop there”.

The various medical methods of abortion should be part of the training of doctors, for example. Paus said that she is in talks with the Federal Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach (SPD) on these issues.

Abortions should be regulated “outside the Penal Code,” Paus said. She added: “In the coalition, we have agreed that we will establish an expert commission that will address the general situation of reproductive rights in Germany and develop reform proposals and recommendations.” It is important that the committee be open-ended.

Paus reiterated her personal opinion that abortion should not be included in the Penal Code. However, the minister clarified that she does not want to anticipate the Commission or interfere in its work.

Source: https://d1softballnews.com/german-minister-proposes-that-abortion-be-part-of-the-medical-career-germany-today-d-w-2/

Germany moves to reform abortion law

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.

Elizabeth Schumacher

"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.

Continued: https://www.dw.com/en/germany-moves-to-reform-abortion-law/a-62014740