Germany: Abortion legislation proposed law comes under fire

Germany: Abortion legislation proposed law comes under fire

The German government wants to slightly ease the law concerning doctor-patient communication about abortions. But few people are thrilled by the draf

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The German government wants to slightly ease the law concerning doctor-patient communication about abortions. But few people are thrilled by the draft changes. Abortion advocates in particular are up in arms.

The abortion debate in Germany has rekindled after a government decision to narrow the country’s prohibition on doctors advertising pregnancy terminations. At present, Paragraph 219a of the criminal code imposes a blanket ban.

Following charges brought this year against a trio of gynecologists, Germany wants to precisely define the sort of information doctors are allowed to pass on.

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A vote on the draft legislation isn’t expected until early next year, but Bundestag deputies immediately seized upon the opportunity to put abortion back in the spotlight.

The far-right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which is staunchly anti-abortion, introduced a special debate session on Thursday afternoon to discuss calls by the youth division of the Social Democrats (SPD) to strike the main abortion laws from the books.

The AfD claimed, falsely, that the proposal would have allowed for terminations in the ninth month of pregnancies, for which the populists earned the approbation and scorn of the other parties.

Nonsense,” scoffed one Left Party spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, the center-right Free Democrats (FDP), which emphasizes individual civil liberties, have put forward a resolution to repeal Paragraph 219a entirely. It comes up for a vote late Thursday evening, but isn’t expected to pass.

Conservatives and progressives simply don’t see eye-to-eye on the issue, which could represent a problem from the governing coalition as the SPD itself is split. Abortion advocates hate the proposed amendment of 219a, while traditionalists are mainly happy that it preserves the essence of a historic restriction.

Source: DW

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