German parties divided over abolition of Nazi era abortion law


German political parties are divided over whether to scrap a Nazi-era abortion law that prohibits advertising or offering or giving information on abortion services.

Currently, those who do so could face a two-year jail sentence or a hefty fine.

While the liberal parties are divided over whether to change the law or scrap it, the conservative parties want to keep them in rulebooks.

The Social Democrats (SPD) which initially supported abolishing the law, later backtracked, saying it wants a compromise.

The attention to the law was recently drawn by a Kristina Hänel, a gynaecologist who refused to pay a €6,000 fine for having a PDF factsheet downloadable on her website. She collected 150,000 signatures under a campaign and presented it to the parliament, demanding the abolition of the law.

Abortion in Germany is punishable unless it is carried out in first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The woman has to get counselling from an authorised adviser first, and she has to wait for three days before the procedure.

The section 219a, which is now under consideration was introduced in 1933 by the Nazi government.



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