Germany’s cabinet approves scrapping of Nazi-era abortion law

Germany’s cabinet ministers back law that will allow doctors to provide information about abortions, but the procedures remain limited.

Al Jazeera
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.


Abortion: Everything a Woman in India Needs to Know

Deepika Singhania
27 November 2020

Abortion. Even saying the word out loud in public might elicit a death stare or two.

This medical procedure has a horde of myths and misunderstandings surrounding it, almost a taboo for many women.


Kenya – Guidelines can stop unnecessary abortion deaths

Guidelines can stop unnecessary abortion deaths
Unsafe abortions could be one of the main causes of maternal mortality in Kenya.

July 11, 2019

In April 2012, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights released a report on the status of sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in Kenya. This was the result of a public inquiry following a complaint by the Federation of Women Lawyers and the Centre for Reproductive Rights that, despite having in place a progressive legal and policy framework, women and girls still face sexual and reproductive health violations.


The KNCHR cited several barriers that impede access to quality sexual and reproductive health services — including unavailability of abortion and post-abortion services, lack of accurate and comprehensive information and high cost of services.


German Cabinet approves revised abortion law

German Cabinet approves revised abortion law
Under the new abortion law, medical professionals and organizations could state that they carry out abortions. The reform has been criticized by some health professionals who say it prevents access to useful information.

Feb 6, 2019

The German Cabinet on Wednesday approved a compromised amendment to the law which currently bans medical professionals and clinics from even mentioning that they offer abortions.

The compromise proposal would continue to ban the "advertising" of abortions — also the word used to describe the current restrictions — but would in future allow practitioners to at least say whether they provide abortions or not.


Germany’s cabinet approves revision to Nazi-era abortion law

Germany's cabinet approves revision to Nazi-era abortion law
Doctors are currently banned from advertising services and offering information online

Emily Schultheis in Berlin
Wed 6 Feb 2019

Germany’s cabinet has approved a revision to the country’s controversial, Nazi-era abortion law, a move that – pending parliamentary approval – would allow doctors and medical associations to provide women with more information about where and how to seek abortions.

Under the current law – paragraph 219a of Germany’s criminal code – doctors are prohibited from advertising abortion services or providing information about abortions on their websites. German law allows abortions during the first trimester, but uses various measures, such as the advertising ban, which came into force in 1933, to in effect discourage women from obtaining them.


Explained: Germany’s plans to change controversial abortion laws

Explained: Germany's plans to change controversial abortion laws

Rachel Loxton
30 January 2019

Germany has agreed in principle to easing a Nazi-era law that makes it illegal for doctors to provide information on abortion services. But the move has received mixed reactions. Here’s what you need to know.

Why is abortion in the news? Germany is proposing to soften paragraph 219a which makes it a crime for doctors to ‘advertise’ abortions and share information on terminating unwanted pregnancies.


Germany: Where providing information on abortion remains a crime

Germany: Where providing information on abortion remains a crime
(Video: 4:52)


Abortion is anything but simple in Germany. Just providing information about the procedure can lead to criminal charges, with several doctors charged in the past few months. Abortion is only legal under certain circumstances, leading to high tensions within the medical community. Fewer and fewer doctors are providing abortions and the subject remains taboo. Last weekend both pro-choice and anti-abortion activists took to the streets of Berlin. Our correspondents report.

A programme prepared by Patrick Lovett and Emerald Maxwell.


Ireland – Harris decision over abortion services welcomed

Harris decision over abortion services welcomed

Monday, 13 Aug 2018

The chairperson of the Termination for Medical Reasons group has welcomed a decision by the Minister for Health to allow doctors to refer women who have pregnancies, where there is a diagnosis of a life-limiting condition, for an abortion abroad before the end of this year.

In a statement to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Simon Harris said he wants to allow certain parts of the legislation to come into effect in advance of services beginning in January.


A Hitler-Era Abortion Law Haunts Merkel, and Germany

A Hitler-Era Abortion Law Haunts Merkel, and Germany

MARCH 27, 2018

BERLIN — She was an obscure gynecologist in a central German town who never intended to stoke a debate that is driving a wedge into Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new government. But faced with a fine under a Nazi-era law for publishing information about abortion on the website of her gynecological practice, Kristina Hänel said she had no choice but to publicize a prohibition that she calls “outdated and unnecessary.”

The law, paragraph 219a of the German criminal code, makes it a crime for doctors to publicly advertise in any way that they perform abortions, even though they are permitted in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. For decades, the advertising ban was largely overlooked. Many gynecologists who listed abortion among their offerings to prospective patients say they were not aware of its existence until they received notice from a prosecutor informing them of legal proceedings against them.


German Minister Rejects Bill Allowing Doctors to Offer Abortion

German Minister Rejects Bill Allowing Doctors to Offer Abortion

Published 18 March 2018
by Earl Bousquet

Spahn warned Merkel that he will demand a rightward shift within the Christian Democratic party once he becomes the country's new health minister.

Germany's new Health Minister Jens Spahn caused outrage amongst women's rights groups and opposition parties after he accused pro-abortion activists of better defending living animals than unborn humans.