Germany: a compulsory period for reflection before aborting

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The German Parliament has decided to introduce a compulsory 3-day period for reflection in the case of abortion beyond the 12th week of pregnancy.

We will recall that in Germany abortion is authorised up to 12th week of pregnancy if the pregnant woman has previously visited a pregnancy advice centre. Beyond 12 weeks, abortion is illegal except “if the physical or moral health of the mother is in danger”. Hence, expecting a handicapped child is not legally a sufficient reason for authorising an abortion beyond this limit, even though in actual practice it often leads to a termination of pregnancy.

That is why the Parliament has decided to reinforce the law. From now on, a woman who finds that she is due to have a handicapped baby must wait three days before requesting an abortion if the foetus is aged over 12 weeks. The doctors must ensure that she receives the psychological support and appropriate advice or risk incurring a fine of up to €5,000.
Romandie News 14/05/09

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