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When Was Abortion Legalised in Germany

In 1972, the GDR legalized abortion on demand up to the 12th week of pregnancy, in the only non-unanimous vote of the House of the People in its first 40 years of existence. After West Germany followed suit in 1974, its new law was struck down by the Constitutional Court in 1975 as incompatible with the constitution`s guarantee of human rights. She said that the unborn child has the right to life, that abortion is an act of murder and that the fetus deserves legal protection throughout its development. Nevertheless, the legal opinion strongly suggested that increasing the number of situations in which abortion was legal could be constitutional. A surgical abortion is usually performed on an outpatient basis, either under general anesthesia or under local anesthesia. However, due to the lower risks of the procedure, WHO only recommends the use of a local anesthetic. GUNTER KRINGS: (Through interpreters) Initiating a debate about the legality of abortion will only discourage doctors from offering this difficult service. And while we recognize the need for access to abortion in certain circumstances, I can`t imagine a doctor wanting to perform abortions. Between 1996 and 2019, tens of thousands of abortions were registered in Germany every year. [12] In 2019 alone, 100,893 abortions were registered in Germany. [12] Meanwhile, doctors performing abortions in Germany face an onslaught from active anti-choice activists who protest outside clinics, organize marches in major cities, send hate mail, and post aggressive comments on social media. Verena said she had no idea of the many barriers to an abortion until she sought one herself. “I was really struggling to find information online,” said Verena, who was 22 when she faced an unwanted pregnancy.

“There was no easy way to know which doctors perform abortions, where they are or how the procedure is performed.” Abortions are technically illegal in Germany, but they are allowed in certain circumstances and must be performed within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The woman is also obliged to seek advice and the doctor must check if this has been done. Abortion is not punishable if the life of the pregnant woman is in danger or if the pregnancy may cause serious physical or mental impairments. Hospitals run or supported by the Catholic Church do not offer abortions. A study by an abortion rights group found that 1 in 5 pregnancies in the United States ended in abortion in 2020. The news comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to crush Roe v. Wade. The following paragraph discusses the different abortion methods available and recommended by WHO up to the 14th week of pregnancy. In Germany, there is no uniform guideline for the application of the different methods, so availability may vary in different parts of the country. It is recommended to consult your doctor beforehand about the different methods and to inquire directly about their availability.

In Germany, the number of doctors performing abortions has dropped dramatically. Now, a telemedicine pilot project aims to help women assert their right to reproductive self-determination. In addition, doctors who perform abortions are prohibited from providing information on abortions in accordance with Article 219a (see legal situation). Therefore, feminist organizations have worked together to disseminate medically accurate and neutral information and resources that are indispensable. While we, as CFFP, do not focus on domestic politics, we recognize our responsibility as a feminist organization, also based in Germany, to help make human rights accessible to all. Therefore, we have compiled information on the legal situation of abortion in Germany, information on the different methods of abortion used in Germany, as well as additional resources. One of the biggest obstacles to abortion in Germany was Article 219a of the Penal Code, which has its origins in Nazi-era social policy. It stipulates that anyone who publicly offers, advertises or promotes abortion services can face penalties of up to two years in prison or a fine.

Human rights advocates have warned that the new law will make it harder for women to access safe abortions.

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