Abortion is not illegal in Germany, to be clear. However, it is not legal as well. From conception to 12 weeks, aborting an unborn child in Germany goes unpunished for a few conditions. The mother has to undergo counseling and must be given three days to decide whether or not to push thru with the procedure. This was not always the case, however. There was a time more than a few decades ago when abortion was readily available for women. However, since its legality has been changed the number of doctors carrying out the procedure has been continuously declining through the years. Some women have to travel far distances to reach clinics and doctors that perform abortions.
A Cause for the Future
Young medical students wish to ‘fill the gap’. This is in hopes of giving women more available avenues for abortion. This is especially true now that doctors performing the procedure has declined. They also aim towards changing the political atmosphere surrounding the subject in the future. Other than the political agenda, these young medical students wish to radicalize the reproductive health laws in their country and give women more power over their reproductive health choices. There are volunteer programs available in certain parts of Germany where young medical students campaign for improved research and training on abortion. They are also trying to raise awareness about the mental health of people seeking an abortion and what they may face with or without the procedure.
German doctors and their stand on abortion
This is not necessarily true, German law indicates that abortions are allowed for ‘medical necessities and emergencies’. If it is a life and death situation for the mother of the child, abortion may be allowed with no criminal offense. This means that German doctors are knowledgeable of the medical procedures required for abortion. However, they outrightly refuse to perform them. This is not only because of their religious beliefs but also of the legal restrictions surrounding abortion.
Since it is not a common procedure done in hospitals and clinics, many doctors lack the expertise regarding the matter. Younger doctors, in fact, do not receive enough training to perform such operations. Older doctors who know how it is properly done, and have done them countless times, are retiring. For instance, in southern German regions, the last remaining gynecologists have retired early because of the current threat of COVID-19. These elder generations of gynecologists performing abortions have stopped providing procedures and no other doctor wishes to replace them.