Commission: Germany Should Legalize Abortion Up to 12 Weeks

Image copyright: ZeWrestler via Wikimedia Commons

The Facts

  • A government-appointed commission recommended on Monday that Germany lift all abortion restrictions within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, but maintain its ban on abortion after fetal viability at 22 weeks.

  • Abortion is generally illegal in Germany, although exceptions are made in cases of rape or life-threatening situations or within the first 12 weeks after undergoing an official medical consultation.

The Spin

Narrative A

This recommendation will align Germany's abortion laws with international standards and its European peers. Although abortion is rarely prosecuted in the country, the current rules could easily allow future governments to issue punishments for those who seek out the procedure. Changing the law will protect women's human rights now and in the future.

Narrative B

The current law allows enough protection for women seeking abortions in Germany. It would be unnecessary for the law to be changed. The commission likely had a strong liberal bias when they made this recommendation, and many ethical and legal considerations must be examined with this issue.

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