The fragility of abortion access in Europe: a public health crisis in the making

The Lancet
CORRESPONDENCE| VOLUME 398, ISSUE 10299, P485, AUGUST 07, 2021
Céline Miani and Oliver Razum

Poland is rightly being criticised for suppressing abortion services.1 Since January, 2021, abortion is only legal if the pregnancy is directly life-threatening or the result of rape or incest. However, countries with allegedly more progressive policies have reasons to be self-critical as well.

An example is Germany, considered a liberal country in terms of abortion law from an international perspective, since women can be granted an abortion on request for any reason, including socioeconomic reasons. Yet, abortion in Germany is technically a crime (albeit not punished up to 12 weeks from conception), and gynaecologists are losing court cases for stating on their websites that they provide abortion care in a supportive environment.2 Attacks on abortion rights and services are nourished by vocal conservative and religious forces whose agendas find support in a non-negligible share of the population.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01225-3/fulltext


Convicted for ‘advertising’ abortion, German doctors are fighting to share the facts

By Ivana Kottasová, CNN
Mon June 7, 2021

(CNN) Dr. Detlef Merchel didn't expect to end up in court for doing what he sees as part of his job: giving his patients information about the medical procedures he provides. But there he was, getting convicted for "advertising abortion" -- a crime in Germany.

He received a fine of €3,000 ($3,650) last month for sharing details about the type of abortion he offers, as well as the legal requirements for accessing it on his website.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/07/europe/germany-abortion-law-doctors-cmd-intl/index.html


German women’s health groups decry blow to abortion access

In a letter to the German health minister, a group of organizations warned that the care of women in emergency situations is ‘at risk’.

BY ASHLEIGH FURLONG
April 19, 2021

German Health Minister Jens Spahn has declined to comment on a call by women’s health groups for him to help ensure access to a drug used in medication-induced abortions, following a halt on parallel imports of the medicine. 

Women wanting such abortions in Germany face few options after the country’s drug regulator suggested that parallel importers stop bringing in Cytotec, which has the active ingredient misoprostol. Along with being used off label to induce abortion, it's prescribed for procedures such as miscarriages and before certain gynecological surgeries.

Continued: https://www.politico.eu/article/german-womens-health-groups-decry-blow-to-abortion-access/


Abortion pill reversal’ spreading in Europe, backed by US Christian right

New investigation shows how a US Christian right group is pushing an ‘unproven, unethical’ treatment to ‘reverse’ abortions

Claire Provost
25 March 2021

“You are the first client I personally have worked with in Germany, but we have assisted many women all over Europe,” a US-based nurse told an openDemocracy undercover reporter, posing as a woman who had taken the first, but not the second, pill required to have a medical abortion.

The nurse then emailed this reporter instructions on how to take a controversial ‘treatment’ that claims to be able to ‘reverse’ abortions. Our reporter subsequently received dosage information to take to a local hospital or pharmacy in order to get the medication needed.

Continued:  https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/abortion-pill-reversal-spreading-in-europe-backed-by-us-christian-right/


The German medical students who want to learn about abortion

Sept 25, 2020

Abortion has been available throughout Germany since the 1970s but the number of doctors carrying out the procedure is now in decline. Jessica Bateman meets students and young doctors who want to fill the gap.

The woman at the family planning clinic
looked at Teresa Bauer and her friend sternly. "And what are you
studying?" she asked the friend, who had just found out she was pregnant,
and wanted an abortion.

"Cultural studies," she replied.

"Ahhh, so you're living a colourful lifestyle?" came the woman's retort.

Bauer sat still, hiding her rage.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-53989951


From Poland To Uruguay, What The Pandemic Means For Abortion

From Poland To Uruguay, What The Pandemic Means For Abortion

Michaela Kozminova, WORLDCRUNCH
2020-05-13

Across the globe, swamped hospitals and shelter-in-place measures have impacted people's access to healthcare for any number of non-COVID-19 issues. One of them is abortion, a time sensitive procedure that is also — even the best of times — both emotionally and politically charged.

Now, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, some countries have used emergency decrees to change their policies related to pregnancy terminations. While several have extended access to abortions in an effort to ease pressure on women and guarantee their rights, others have seen the situation as an opportunity to make abortions more difficult to access.

Continued: https://worldcrunch.com/coronavirus/from-poland-to-uruguay-what-the-pandemic-means-for-abortion


Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic

Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic

By Laura Smith-Spark, Valentina Di Donato and Stephanie Halasz, CNN
March 27, 2020

London (CNN)As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, women's access to abortion is one of many healthcare provisions thrown into jeopardy.

The UK government caused confusion this week when it first announced that women would temporarily be allowed to access early medical abortion at home, rather than attending a clinic -- and then, hours later, reversed its decision.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/27/health/coronavirus-abortion-access-intl/index.html


A closer look at Germany’s abortion law

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).

Continued: https://kcrwberlin.com/2020/02/studio-berlin-broadcast-feb-1-2020-a-closer-look-at-germanys-abortion-law/


Germany’s abortion law: made by the Nazis, upheld by today’s right

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

Mithu Sanyal
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.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/08/abortion-law-germany-nazis-women


German doctor fined again over abortion advertising ban

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.

Continued: https://www.citynews1130.com/2019/12/12/german-doctor-fined-again-over-abortion-advertising-ban/