New German abortion law agreed

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 15 July 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:149

The German Bundestag, the lower house of parliament in Bonn, has finally reached a compromise on abortion laws, which may end longstanding rows over the issue. The new law provides that an abortion within the first three months of pregnancy remains an unlawful act but is an unpunishable offence provided that the woman seeks independent counselling first.

Traditionally, article 218 of the German penal code, which was set up in 1871 under the chancellorship of Otto von Bismarck, allowed abortions only for certain medical or ethical reasons.

After the end of the …

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