Politicians in Germany are looking to inch closer to legalizing abortion by removing it from the penal code, decriminalizing it. According to Reuters, “Technically, abortion is illegal altogether in Germany. However, it is allowed under certain circumstances, and the procedure must be performed within 12 weeks of conception.”
PRO, a German magazine, reported that Federal Minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus claims the penal code is “not the right place” to regulate “the human right to reproductive self-determination.” She further added that women who have undergone abortions should not be stigmatized, and added, “Who else but the pregnant women themselves should decide whether they want or can carry a child?”
Ergo, her ministry wants to look into “what regulations for abortion outside of the penal code can look like.” Additionally, she said that buffer zones should be instituted outside abortion businesses. “We are working flat out to end sidewalk harassment of pregnant women,” she said. “It’s not easy, because we’re dealing with the conflict between women’s right to self-determination and the demonstrators’ right to freedom of assembly and expression.”
A coalition between German political groups the SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and the FDP have agreed to set up a commission working on the issue of legalized abortion.
Pro-life Germans are protesting the move, however. Cornelia Kaminski, chairwoman of Action to Live for Everyone (ALfA) slammed Paus’ plan. “A state that allows doctors to kill defenseless and innocent children in the womb at the request of their fathers ceases to be a constitutional state,” she told Die Tagespost. “The right of a defenseless and innocent person not to be killed by others applies either always and to everyone or it doesn’t apply at all and to nobody … the Basic Law obliges the Federal Republic of Germany to protect human rights and in particular the right to life, the guarantee of which is the prerequisite for the exercise of all other rights.”
Kaminski also slammed the notion of criminalizing pro-life speech in her statement.
“While the protests of the ‘last generation’, whose actions sometimes pose a considerable threat to the maintenance of public order, are not only tolerated by the state but are even publicly welcomed in some cases, the right of pro-life activists to freedom of expression, of which at all pose no such dangers, be circumcised,” she said. “It is obvious that double standards are measured here and rather than law, ideology is the yardstick.”