German doctor fined for illegally ‘advertising’ abortions

German doctor fined for illegally 'advertising' abortions
Nov 24, 2017

Pro-life activists have taken a doctor to court over information she provides for her patients online. The case shows how complicated Germany's laws regulating abortion are – and that the issue is highly contentious.

Kristina Hänel, a general practitioner in the central German city of Giessen, received a €6,000 fine in court on Friday because of a single word on her practice's website. On the list of services she offers, Hänel includes family planning, sex counseling — and abortions.

Pro-life activists from the radical "Never again" initiative have sued her for this. They say Hänel is breaking the law, based on a rule stipulated in paragraph 219a of the German criminal code. It states that anyone who publicly "offers, announces [or] advertises" abortion services is to be punished with up to two years in jail or must pay a fine.

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