GERMANY: TWO COURT CASES

Two doctors defend right to inform patients Two gynaecologists in Germany were put on trial in August 2018 after one refused to pay a €6,000 fine for listing abortion on their website as one of the medical services offered at their practice. During the trial, a 200-300 person demonstration outside the court argued that providing information to women shouldn’t be a crime. According to Germany’s criminal code, however, anyone who publically “offers, announces [or] advertises” … Continued

GERMANY – Medical Students for Choice call for abortion training in Germany’s medical system

  Abortion providers can be hard to find in Germany. In some cities there are none, and their number appears to be declining, while medical schools often fail to teach the procedure so crucial to women. There were around 101,200 abortions in Germany in 2017. Yet future doctor Alicia B was disturbed to find that abortion played virtually no role in her studies at Berlin’s Charité University Medical School. “In six years of studies… we … Continued

FRANCE / GERMANY – TV documentary on the anti-abortion movement in Europe

Franco-German television channel ARTE has released a feature-length documentary today as a contribution to International Women’s Day, focusing on the anti-abortion movement in Europe. It is entitled, in French, “IVG : Les croisés contre-attaquent” (Abortion: The crusaders counter-attack). It is 95 minutes and has a number of revelations about the anti-choice movement in Europe. For example, it follows a number of women in Italy and Hungary who would like to have an abortion, but who … Continued

GERMANY – Proposal to decriminalise abortion ‘advertising’ rejected

 Abortion is restricted by the Criminal Code in Germany, covered in Sections 218 and 219, which follow the sections on murder, in the version promulgated in November 1998 (translated into English). The current law is the result of an extremely difficult negotiation between the former East and West Germany upon reunification. You can find the history here (click on Germany). The text of the current law in English can be found here. It is very … Continued

EUROPE – Freedom of conscience in Europe? An analysis of three cases of midwives with conscientious objection to abortion

While abortion has been legal in most developed countries for many years, the topic remains controversial. A major area of controversy concerns women’s rights vis-a-vis the right of health professionals to opt out of providing the service on conscience grounds. Although scholars from various disciplines have addressed this issue in the literature, there is a lack of empirical research on the topic. This paper provides a documentary analysis of three examples of conscientious objection on religious grounds to performing abortion-related care by midwives in different Member States of the European Union, two of which have resulted in legal action.

GERMANY – Doctor who ‘advertised’ abortion on her website fined €6,000

  A doctor who published information about her services for women on her website has been fined €6,000 for supposedly breaking German criminal law. The 61-year-old Doctor Kristina Hänel was found guilty by a district court in Gießen on Friday of “advertising” abortion on her website. Anti-abortion activists reported her because on the list of services she offers, Hänel includes “family planning, sex counselling — and abortions”. A single word. They pointed to Paragraph 219a … Continued

SOLIDARITY REQUEST: GERMANY

  Abortion is restricted in Germany, but permitted if a woman fulfills the legal requirements. However, it is illegal for abortion providers to inform the public that they provide abortion care, because it is considered advertising. In recent years, many providers have been fined either for saying they provide abortions or information about abortion. Consequently, there is no website registered in Germany which has a list of abortion providers. Christian Fiala manages such a list … Continued

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