New German government wants to permit abortion advertisements


Central Europe


Buschmann. Photo AFP, John MacDougall

Marco Buschmann, the German minister of the Department of Justice announced that he wants to lift the current ban on abortion advertisements.

Several media have reported this, among others Politico.

The minister argues that the ban is a breach of women’s reproductive rights. Currently, physicians are forbidden to publish information about abortions, for example, on their websites. If they do so, they can face criminal charges. The new government wants to remove the section referring to abortion from the criminal code.

According to the minister of Justice, practitioners who perform professional abortions are qualified to provide information about abortions. Forbidding them to do so is “an untenable state of affairs”, said the minister in a press conference Monday afternoon.

The new bill states that “physicians should be able to support women without fear of prosecution.” The coalition does not think that the paragraph in the criminal code is necessary to protect unborn life.

According to the minister, removing the paragraph does not change the protection concept, as abortion is still “fundamentally punishable.” In the future, there will only be an “exception from punishment” in the case conflict counselling for pregnant women takes place”, Die Tagespost writes.

Former coalition party CDU opposes the bill. Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, a CDU-member of the Bundestag, denies an information deficit, Domradio writes. According to Winkelmeier, the paragraph in the criminal code was about the distinction between pure information and advertisements.

Furthermore, Winkelmeier argues that abortions should not be placed on the same level as cosmetic surgeries or eye lasering, Pro writes.

The German Catholic Church also criticizes the bill. Georg Bätzing, chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, argued earlier that the changes remove the protection of unborn life. According to him, the changes are not “modern and progressive.”

Last year, the previous German government decided that the ban on abortion advertisements should remain in place.



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