Living together. Living better.

Paragraph 219a of the German Criminal Code which forbade the “advertising” of abortion and prohibited doctors from providing informations about it.

The Bundestag voted in favor of the removal of the controversial paragraph 219a from the German Criminal Code. This paragraph prohibited advertisement of abortion practices. The ban, legacy of the Nazi era, was absolutely anachronistic and outrageous to say the least and made also illegal for doctors to provide informations regarding the procedures.

The proposal of abolition passed thanks to the votes of the coalition formed by SDP, FDP and the Greens, and was opposed by CDU, CSU and AfD.

Oddly enough the paragraph wasn’t making anything against the publication of misleading or even false information, or “facts”, about abortion, the details of the different procedures and where they could be performed. Suffering from this were not only the doctors that, according to the paragraph couldn’t do what their position asks them to, which is to correctly inform the population, risking to be fined for doing so, but especially the people that needed those informations. They were denied the possibility of having reliable information about where and how to carry out a termination of pregnancy.

This resolution also erased the sentences issued against doctors on the basis of this paragraph from October the 3rd 1990 onwards. This concerns, for example, the case of Kristina Hänel, the doctor from Giessen who was convicted in 2017 and who has been campaigning for the repeal of this paragraph for years.

The abolition of the paragraph 219a becomes even more significant in the light of the recent decision of the US Supreme Court to annul the 1973 Roe vs. Wade that recognised and admitted the right to abortion. This allowed 26 states of the union to increase restrictions on abortions and, in some cases, to ban it altogether.

At this link you can read instead the text of Article 218, which regulates abortion laws, and which was not affected by the recent abolition of Section 219a.