Germany debates change to law on late abortions

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 24 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1803
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

    The German parliament is likely to vote in the next few months on a law to reduce the number of late abortions.

    Current German abortion law allows unrestricted abortions for women up to 12 weeks of pregnancy but requires them to be counselled about their decision, and to wait three days before the operation.

    After 12 weeks of pregnancy abortions are allowed if the pregnancy or birth poses a risk to the physical or mental health of the mother. This can include abortions performed if the mother learns she would give birth to a baby with severe disabilities. However, in these cases German law does not require counselling and a three day wait.

    The new law would extend these requirements to …

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