International

Germany to consider legislation on allowing abortion advertising

Germany

Doctors in Germany are currently prohibited from advertising their abortion work, but at least one lawmaker is looking to change that. The country’s Justice Minister, Marco Buschmann, made statements Wednesday indicating that he plans to introduce legislation in January that would remove the ban.

During statements in which he said he feels a lot of social policy reform is necessary, Buschmann said he wants to get rid of the current criminal code rule that prohibits doctors from “advertising” their abortion services. Currently, violators could receive a prison sentence of up to two years, according to ABC News. The law has been enforced in the past — in May, one doctor received a fine of €3,000 ($3,650) for advertising his abortion services online, and CNN reports that several other doctors were prosecuted as well.

The current law does allow doctors and hospitals to say that they commit abortions on their websites, but it prevents them from providing any other detailed information about abortion online. Buschmann called the restriction “absurd.”

“Many women who wrestle with themselves on the question of an abortion look for advice on the internet,” he said. “It cannot be that, of all people, the doctors who are professionally best qualified to inform them aren’t allowed to provide information there,” he said.

READ: With few doctors willing to commit abortions, Germany eases access to abortion pill

While it is likely true that women seeking answers about abortion look online, Buschmann is mistaken if he believes that the doctors who commit abortions — and who have financial incentive to promote abortions — are the ones “best qualified” to provide women with unbiased information.

Alexandra Linder, the chairperson of the Federal Right to Life Association, said in June that finances certainly influence the information that these doctors share. “The only reason to offer abortion on the website of an abortion institution is to earn money by that,” she told CNN.

Just recently, Live Action News reported that because the number of abortionists in the country is declining, Germany is also looking to make it easier to access the abortion pill. Both moves are part of a larger effort in Germany to expand abortion in the country.

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