close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

Health

AFP
January 29, 2019

Germany to soften ban on 'advertising' abortions

Health

AFP
Tue, Jan 29, 2019

Berlin -Germany´s coalition government agreed in principle Tuesday to soften a controversial law that bars medical doctors from advertising abortion services.

Gynaecologists and hospitals will now be allowed to share essential information about where and how women can terminate unwanted pregnancies.

German law allows abortions but has long effectively discouraged them through various hurdles such as the advertising ban.

Last year gynaecologist Kristina Haenel was fined 6,000 euros ($6,800) for breaking the law by publishing information on abortion services on her website.

The case revived debate in the coalition government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel´s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU).

Junior partners the Social Democrats (SPD) wanted the paragraph scrapped, a demand backed by leftist opposition parties the Greens and Die Linke.

In the end the ruling parties reached a compromise that many read as a defeat for the SPD.

Andrea Nahles, the SPD leader, nonetheless welcomed the agreement, tweeting that "women are finally getting the information they need".

Health Minister Jens Spahn of the CDU said women needed access to crucial information but added that abortions should not be advertised because they are "not a medical procedure like any other".

The draft bill seen by AFP would allow federal health authorities and the German Medical Association to publish nationwide lists of doctors who perform abortions.

In other changes, the age limit for women entitled to free contraceptives will be raised from 20 to 22 years, and training on performing abortions will be expanded for medical students.

The bill is expected to be approved by the Merkel cabinet on February 6 and then pass both houses of parliament.