Debate on German abortion ban keeps going


Central Europe


beeld EPA, Hayoung Jeon

The Committee on Legal Affairs of the German Bundestag has started to deal with the government's decision to abolish article 219a from the criminal code. The deletion of this paragraph means that it is no longer illegal to publish abortion advertisements. That means that, for example, doctors can provide information on the location of abortion clinics without having to fear prosecution.

The 39 members of the Committee on Legal Affairs discuss topics that have an impact on all Germany’s citizens, helping to draw up basic legal rules for coexistence in society. One of the speakers at the meeting was doctor Kristina Hänel. She is firmly in favour of abolishing the ban on abortion ads. That is reported by Idea. She was one of the people convicted under paragraph 2019a. Hänel described the article as one of the causes of "the ever-worsening supply situation in the case of abortion."

Furthermore, the national chairman of the Pro Familia association, Monika Börding, also said to welcome the deletion of the paragraph. According to her, the article violates the information rights of women seeking doctors and experts for advice on unwanted pregnancies.

Deletion of paragraph leads to opinion-based information

However, not everyone is happy with the development. Professor of criminal Michael Kubiciel from the University of Augsburg considers the deletion of the ban on abortion ads constitutionally problematic, Idea writes. According to him, it opens the way for "opinion-based" information on abortion through public advertising.

Furthermore, professor Angela Köninger says to Idea that abortion advertisements are unnecessary as German women already find their way to the clinics. Köninger is the clinic director and chairholder for gynaecology and obstetrics at the University of Regensburg. She points out that more than 90,000 women undergo an abortion every year. They all found their way to the clinic without advertisements.

Köninger argues that a more objective discussion is needed to evaluate whether the abolition of the advertisement ban is necessary. She finds it essential that counselling sessions and the implementation of abortions remain separate from each other. According to the clinic director, most doctors who refuse to offer abortions do so because they "see more than a cell cluster" in the unborn child.

"State must counteract normalisation of abortion"

Also, the director of the Christian Right to Life Movement KALEB, wants to maintain the advertising ban. He sees paragraph 219a as crucial for the state protection of unborn children and human dignity. In addition, he is afraid that deleting the article will lead to the normalisation of abortion as a "medical treatment."

Moreover, the Catholic Commission of German Bishops from Berlin emphasises that the state has a constitutional duty to protect unborn life. Natascha Sasserath-Alberti, the spokesperson of the Commission, says that the state should therefore counteract "normalisation tendencies" concerning abortion. Thus, the Commission would like to see that paragraph 219a would remain to be included in the German criminal code.



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.