The Green Minister for Women, Lisa Paus, has never left any doubt that she considers it wrong to regulate abortions in criminal law. "Just as women can rely on medical services if they decide to have a child, they should be able to rely on medical services if they decide not to have a child," said Paus last May at the Bundestag debate on the abolition of the advertising ban said for abortions.
She has now confirmed that again. It is about “the human right to reproductive self-determination and the right of women to make decisions about their bodies”. In her view, the penal code is not the right place to regulate this.
In the medium term, according to the embassy, paragraph 218 should disappear from the penal code. In order to clarify the related questions, the traffic light wants to set up a "Commission for Reproductive Self-Determination" under the leadership of the Ministry of Health.
So far, however, it is unclear when the committee will start its work. The coordination within the federal government has not yet been completed, and a specific date for the establishment of the commission has not yet been set, according to the Ministry of Health.
But for the opposition, the announcement that they are considering the deletion of paragraph 218 is "a dam breach in the understanding of human life," as the vice-chairman of the Union faction, Dorothee Bär (CSU), says. "A family minister who is against children is like an environment minister who poisons the river." An unfair and immoderate accusation.
Nevertheless, the criticism hits a sore point. Because with the regulations on abortion, a formula was found in 1995 that has endured to this day. Abortions are therefore forbidden in principle. After a mandatory consultation, however, they remain unpunished up to the twelfth week of pregnancy. A compromise that should take into account both the reproductive self-determination of women and the protection of unborn life.
Anyone who unties this compromise would reopen old rifts - and in the end only produce losers. Because that too remains true: an abortion ends a life. We must remain aware of the scope of this decision.
For Justice Minister Marco Buschmann, the planned abolition of the so-called advertising ban for abortions is overdue. "It's high time," said Buschmann. Every conviction under criminal law paragraph 219a is “one conviction too many”.