06.24.22 (PRESS RELEASE) Today the German Bundestag has repealed §219a of the German Criminal Code removing a harmful ban on information provision on abortion by medical professionals.
The ban prohibited doctors and other medical professionals from publicly providing evidence-based information on legal abortions. For over eighty years the law hampered women’s ability to make informed decisions on their reproductive health and medical professional’s ability to provide information in line with international public health and clinical guidelines.
“At last Germany has recognized that evidence-based information on abortion should be available to all those who are seeking abortion care. Criminal laws prohibiting the dissemination of evidence-based information about abortion serve no purpose and violate international public health guidelines and human rights law.
“The German ban on evidence-based information about abortion by medical professionals was an outlier in the European context and today’s vote moves Germany closer to compliance with international obligations and best practice.
“German laws on abortion retain a range of additional harmful barriers that also contravene international public health guidelines and international human rights law. These include other criminal provisions as well as mandatory counselling requirements and mandatory waiting periods. World Health Organization guidance stresses the need for such barriers to be eradicated and our hope is that additional change will prove possible in Germany in the coming years,” said Leah Hoctor, Senior Regional Director for Europe at the Center for
Background: In February 2022 the Center submitted an expert opinion to the German Minister of Justice on the draft law of the federal government on improving information on abortion.
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