(LifeSiteNews) — German medical students may be forced to participate in abortions to qualify as physicians.
On July 3, 2022, Germany’s Family Minister Lisa Paus revealed her plan to include abortion procedures as a mandatory part of physician’s training in an interview with the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. Following the recent abolition of the advertising ban on abortion in Germany, Paus said that “the various medical methods of abortion should be part of the training for doctors”.
The German Family Minister also announced that she plans to appoint a commission of experts to deal with the question of how to regulate abortion outside of criminal law. Paus and other members of Germany’s government coalition have already insinuated in the past that they want to completely decriminalize abortion in Germany, as it is still a felony under current German law.
The Christian association “Christliches Forum” has warned that the demand to include abortion procedures in medical studies would take away the freedom of conscience and religion from all medical students who object to the practice of abortion. The Family Minister’s proposal could also exacerbate the already existing shortage of doctors in Germany.
On Friday, June 24, 2022, the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, Germany abolished its advertising ban on abortion. All delegates from Germany’s government coalition parties and from the left-wing “Die Linke” party voted in favor of the abolition of the Criminal Code’s “Paragraph 219a,” which prohibited “offering, announcing, or promoting abortions.”
The three parties that make up the government coalition are the Social Democrats (SPD), the Green Party (Die Grünen), and the Liberal Party (FDP). The delegates of two opposition parties, the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and the Alternative for Germany (AfD), voted against the resolution.
In addition to the abolition of Paragraph 219a, German Parliament’s resolution stipulates that the sentences issued against physicians based on the paragraph since October 3, 1990, will be overturned.
Paus called the resolution a “triumph” and said it was a good day for doctors and especially for women in Germany.
Matthias Kopp, the spokesman of the German Bishops’ Conference, told the German news agency “dpa” that a revision of Paragraph 219a to further improve women’s grasp of information about abortion would have been the better outcome.
“From the point of view of the Church, this solution would have served both the interests of women and the constitutionally required protection of unborn life,” Kopp said.
Currently abortion is illegal in Germany, carrying a potential three-year prison sentence. However, both the pregnant woman who requests the abortion and the doctor who commits it are not prosecuted if the mother asks for the abortion at least three days after a mandatory counselling session with an official advocate for her child and if the child was conceived no more than 12 weeks before.