What are the abortion laws in 2019

In Germany, about as many abortions were performed in 2019 as in the previous year. There are big regional differences. Berlin has the most abortions.

The number of abortions in Germany in 2019 remained almost unchanged compared to the previous year. As the Federal Statistical Office announced in Wiesbaden on Tuesday, 100,893 abortions were reported. That was 93 or 0.1 percent less than in 2018. For every 1,000 births, there were 126.4 abortions.

Between 2014 and 2016, the number of abortions slipped below the 100,000 mark for the first time since reunification. Then, in the 1990s, around 130,000 abortions were regularly reported; In 2001 they reached the previous high of 134,964.

Trend towards outpatient terminations

The statisticians have been observing a trend towards outpatient terminations for a long time: 79 percent of the interventions were carried out in gynecological practices in 2019, 18 percent in the hospital as an outpatient. Doctors have recently repeatedly complained that it is becoming increasingly difficult for women to find a facility for an abortion; the topic also hardly plays a role in medical training.

The abortion rate, which indicates the proportion of women of childbearing age who had an abortion performed, also remained stable compared to the previous year. In 2000, an average of 68 out of 10,000 women of childbearing age between 15 and 49 had an abortion, compared to 56 in 2014 and 2015. In 2017 and 2018, statisticians reported a rate of 58.

It will presumably also be registered in 2019, subject to the provisional population figures.

The abortion rate also reveals large regional differences: with 115 abortions per 10,000 women, Berlin is clearly in the lead. This is followed by Saxony-Anhalt with 87, Bremen with 83 and Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania with 81. At the bottom of the scale are Bavaria with 44, and Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate with 43 abortions per 10,000 women each.

Make offers of help for expectant mothers better known

With a view to the new annual statistics, the CDU health politician Alexander Krauss called for the offers of help for expectant mothers to be better known. The member of the Bundestag referred to the Federal Foundation for Mother and Child, which helps expectant mothers unbureaucratically. A lack of money for setting up a child's room does not have to lead to a decision against the child.

The Bundesverband Lebensrecht criticized the situation in the "abortion stronghold" Berlin and called for a review of the advice centers. Apparently institutions there fail to advise on "living with the child", explained chairwoman Alexandra Linder. "The fact that some government counseling agencies are openly promoting abortion laws and thus combating the law under which they are supposed to counsel, underscores this need." Linder also pointed out that the number of abortions among women increased from 30 - "in an age group that is generally not likely to be affected by an educational situation, extreme poverty, social hardship or a lack of ability to cope with life".

The evangelical welfare association Diakonie explained that the decision about an abortion depends heavily on whether planning a life with a child is successful and women can be relieved of fear of the future. It is all the more worrying that there is a lack of daycare places and childcare options and that affordable housing for families can hardly be found in cities, said Maria Loheide, director of social policy at Diakonie.

The deputy chairman of the Left parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Cornelia Möhring, criticized the fact that women were only given limited rights to self-determination about their own bodies. Germany disregards the international women's rights convention CEDAW because women seek advice before an abortion and have to wait three days.

"Women can judge for themselves whether they need advice for their decisions or not," said the left-wing politician.