Germany Moves Toward Repealing Nazi-era Abortion Law
Women’s Rights Researcher,
Global Human Rights Defence.
The government in Germany has approved new legislation that will abolish the Nazi era abortion law that banned doctors from providing factual information about abortions under section 219a of the country’s penal code.
Doctors in Germany are allowed to say they offer termination of pregnancies but are not allowed to provide any further information on such procedures.
Critics have said the law makes it too difficult for women to access information about which procedures are available and who provides them.
Under the current laws doctors have been fined with Kristina Hänel, a well-known physician recently fined €6,000 for informing people on her website that she performed abortions Under the current laws doctors have been fined with Kristina Hänel, a well-known physician recently fined €6,000 for informing people on her website that she performed abortions.
The new legislation still has to be passed by the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament.
German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said the laws on abortion, which were introduced in 1933, were an “intolerable state of affairs”.
The new government laid out its plans to eliminate the law in the coalition agreement signed in November. read more
Technically, abortion is illegal altogether in Germany. However, it is allowed under certain circumstances, and the procedure must be performed within 12 weeks of conception.
Women’s Affairs Minister Anne Spiegel said the decades-old abortion law was “overdue” and that: “Doctors should in future be able to provide information about their medical services for abortions without having to fear prosecution or stigmatization”. “We are strengthening women’s right to self-determination in the long term.” She said.
Sources and further reading:
Aljazeera, (2022, 9 March), “Germany’s cabinet approves scrapping of Nazi-era abortion law”
Euronews, (2022, 9 March), “ Germany moves to abolish Nazi-era abortion law Germany moves to abolish Nazi-era abortion law”
EuroWeeklynews, (2022, 9 March), “Germany to abolish Nazi-era abortion law”