Under what circumstances should abortion be legal?

Abortion: Current legal situation in Germany

beginning of 1970s the topic "Abortion" became hotly debated in Germany. The main focus was on the legal regulations governing abortion. Many women's movements campaigned for the deletion of Section 218 of the Criminal Code (StGB).

It didn't come to that, but there was Change in the law on the indication rules for an abortion. In principle, abortion is prohibited by law in Germany, but there are numerous exceptions in which neither the doctor nor the pregnant woman is guilty of a crime.

The termination of pregnancy is not mentioned in medical law, and an abortion law is not defined in Germany. But until when can you have an abortion? Which Regulations can be found in this regard in criminal code? Our guide explains the most important legal bases for terminating pregnancy in Germany.

FAQ: Abortion

Which regulations apply to abortion in Germany?

In principle, an abortion is a criminal offense according to Section 218 (1) of the Criminal Code. However, there are a number of exceptional cases in which an abortion may legally be carried out.

By when does an abortion have to take place?

An abortion may only be performed if the 12th week of pregnancy has not yet ended. In addition, the pregnant woman must undergo counseling.

Does the health insurance company pay for an abortion?

If it is an abortion according to the counseling rule, the costs will not be covered. Here you can read about the cases in which costs are covered.

Regulations on termination of pregnancy: § 218 StGB

The authoritative abortion regulations (referred to as "termination of pregnancy" in the law) regulate them §§ 218 ff. Of the Criminal Code. Section 218 (1) of the Criminal Code defines the following:

Anyone who terminates a pregnancy is punished with imprisonment for up to three years or with a fine. Actions that take effect before the fertilized egg has implanted in the uterus are not considered to be an abortion within the meaning of this Act.

Basically, it becomes clear that for a Abortion can be imprisoned for up to three years can. The criminal liability applies to all involved. So both the doctor and the pregnant woman herself can be prosecuted.

However, there are a number of them Exceptionsin which abortion is not a criminal offense. The question: "How long can you have an abortion?" Is also particularly in focus. We answer these in the following section.

Important: From one abortion is only mentioned when that fertilized egg nested in the uterus Has. All Contraceptives can therefore of course used with impunity become. The so-called “morning-after pill” is not an abortion pill either, since the agent is supposed to work before implantation occurs.

Abortion: Until when can pregnant women have an abortion?

As already mentioned, there are exceptions in which a drug abortion or a similar intervention for those involved unpunished can stay. Provides the legal basis in this regard Section 218a of the Criminal Code.

There it is defined that no punishable abortion exists if the following three requirements are fulfilled:

  • The pregnant woman has a advised by a state-approved bodythat was more than three days ago and was advised accordingly prior to the procedure
  • The abortion becomes of one Doctor carried out
  • The 12th week of pregnancy is not finished yet

Legal abortion is possible under these circumstances. Take the Pregnant women, for example by taking appropriate medication, den Abort yourself, this can be done with a Imprisonment for up to one year or a fine be sanctioned under criminal law.

Obligation to provide advice on an abortion in Germany

The central point in the case of an abortion, which is permitted by law, is the advice given by a before the procedure state-approved advice center. Section 219 (1) of the Criminal Code defines the following in this regard:

The counseling serves to protect unborn life. She has to be guided by the endeavor to encourage the woman to continue the pregnancy and to open up perspectives for a life with the child; it should help her to make a responsible and conscientious decision. The woman must be aware that the unborn child has its own right to life in relation to her at every stage of pregnancy and that, according to the legal system, an abortion can only be considered in exceptional situations if the woman is burdened by carrying the child to term grows that is so difficult and extraordinary that it exceeds the acceptable sacrifice limit. [...]

It works with the consultation So before an abortion, it's all about the Affectedwho is pregnant and wants to have an abortion from it to convince, at the To hold on to pregnancy. This takes into account the principle that an embryo already has a right to life.

Therefore also allowed no abortion to be performed by a health care professional if the patient no proof of participation in the consultationwhich is issued by the relevant advice center.

It is also important that the doctorwho performs the abortion, not involved in the consultation be, let alone carry out this.

By the way: In our guide to Embryo Protection Act (ESchG) we offer you further important information on the protection of unborn life.

Termination of pregnancy: criminological indications

A abortion can also be done if the Pregnancy from a sexual offenseresulting from rape, for example. In this context is from one criminological indication the speech.

In this case, too, is the To comply with the deadline of twelve weeks. The There is no obligation to provide advice Indeed. For all girls who become pregnant before the age of 14, there is always a criminological indication related to an abortion.

Good to know: The Pregnant women may apply for an abortion at which criminological indications grab it, too not prosecuted be when 22 weeks have passed since conception and the procedure will be performed by a doctor. However, this person can be prosecuted for termination of pregnancy after the 12th week of pregnancy.

Late abortion in the event of a disability: When health is at risk

Besides the criminological there are also medical indicationswho are allowed to have an abortion. As a rule, the doctors do not make themselves liable to prosecution if more than twelve weeks have passed since conception. So so is an abortion at Trisomy 21 by law, for example, possible without penalty. However, the Cancellation cannot be carried out by the doctor who issued the indication.

The Mediciners have to go to the Arrive at an assessment, that the Pregnancy poses a serious threat to the life or physical or emotional health of the mother. This is the case, for example, if the unborn child was found to be disabled during the prenatal diagnosis.

Is this Life mother not in imminent danger, have to between the Communication of the medical diagnosis and the written indication are three full days. In addition, the pregnant woman must be informed about the risks of abortion and other advice options.

Abortion: Are the costs covered by health insurance?

Since it is a abortion If it is a medical procedure, it inevitably arises questionwhether this is from the Health insurance taken over becomes. At a medical or criminological indication occurs a The health insurance company will assume the costs.

It looks different when the person concerned has one Termination of pregnancy according to the counseling regulation want to have it carried out. In this case, the Costs are not covered by the statutory health insurance.

The situation is different with the costs for that medical treatment during pregnancy and for the Follow-up treatment of complications out. These can usually asserted become.

Important: Is a woman needy, so if their monthly disposable income does not exceed the value of 1,142 euros per month, the person concerned can have one Application for the assumption of costs for an abortion with the health insurance company put.
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Abortion: Current legal situation in Germany
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