On Friday, the Bundestag decided by a large majority to remove the advertising ban for abortions from the penal code.

Section 219a prohibits offering, announcing or promoting abortion for financial gain or when doing so in a grossly offensive manner.

The SPD, Greens and FDP had already agreed on the deletion in their coalition agreement.

In the past legislative period, the paragraph was reformed and slightly relaxed.

Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) had previously defended the planned abolition as overdue.

"It's high time," said Buschmann on Friday in the final debate in the Bundestag.

Every conviction under criminal law paragraph 219a is “one conviction too many”.

Buschmann explained that when a woman deals with the difficult question of a possible termination of pregnancy, she "usually" first looks for information on the Internet these days.

There, "every troll and every conspiracy theorist" can spread things on the subject - highly qualified doctors, however, are forbidden.

"It's absurd, it's out of date, it's unfair and that's why we're ending this situation."

Section 219a of the Criminal Code prohibits "advertising for the termination of pregnancy".

This means that practices and clinics in Germany are prohibited from providing detailed information about the different methods of termination.

The SPD wanted to delete the passage in the previous legislative period, but it was only revised due to resistance from the Union.

After that, other doctors were sentenced for it.

"Great day for the doctors"

Buschmann dismissed concerns that the deletion of paragraph 219a would affect the protection of unborn life.

This protection is anchored in criminal law paragraph 218 – the two paragraphs must be “kept strictly apart”.

"Commercializing and trivializing advertising" for abortions will still not exist, emphasized the Minister of Justice.

This is contrary to the medical professional law.

"It is time for more trust in doctors and it is time for more freedom of information for women," Buschmann summed up.

Federal Women's Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) said today was "a great day for doctors, but above all for all women in this country".

Paragraph 219a was never about advertising.

"Unwantedly pregnant women rather sought advice and doctors wanted to clarify," but could not have done so as they wanted.

With the abolition, "the decades-long stigmatization and criminalization of doctors finally ends," praised Paus.

Sharp criticism came from the Union faction.

The traffic light coalition is primarily concerned with "producing a sense of achievement together" for reasons of "group dynamics," said the chairwoman of the legal committee, Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker (CDU).

Everyone can understand the difficult situation of an unwanted pregnant woman.

"But we also think about the child's right to life - and that's the main difference that I see between us," said Winkelmeier-Becker, addressing the coalition factions.

The Union therefore wants to stick to the current regulation.

The deletion of 219a would enable "proactive advertising on the Internet," warned the CDU politician.

This suggests that an abortion “is about normal medical treatment”, which is not the case.

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