Liability for Abortion

Liability for Abortion in Europe

Exception to Liability for Abortion in Germany

Provisions relating to exception to liability for abortion in the German Criminal Code [1]: This criminal issue is covered by Chapter Sixteen, under the heading “Offences Against Life,” located in Section 218a Exception to liability for abortion, which reads: (1) The offence under section 218 shall not be deemed fulfilled if the pregnant woman requests the termination of the pregnancy and demonstrates to the physician by certificate pursuant to section 219 (2) 2nd sentence that she obtained counselling at least three days before the operation; 1. 2. the termination of the pregnancy is performed by a physician; and 3. not more than twelve weeks have elapsed since conception. (2) The termination of pregnancy performed by a physician with the consent of the pregnant woman shall not be unlawful if, considering the present and future living conditions of the pregnant woman, the termination of the pregnancy is medically necessary to avert a danger to the life or the danger of grave injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman and if the danger cannot reasonably be averted in another way from her point of view. (3) The conditions of subsection (2) above shall also be deemed fulfilled with regard to a termination of pregnancy performed by a physician with the consent of the pregnant woman, if according to medical opinion an unlawful act has been committed against the pregnant woman under sections 176 to 179, there is strong reason to support the assumption that the pregnancy was caused by the act, and not more than twelve weeks have elapsed since conception. (4) The pregnant woman shall not be liable under section 218 if the termination of pregnancy was performed by a physician after counselling (section 219) and not more than twenty-two weeks have elapsed since conception. The court may order a discharge under section 218 if the pregnant woman was in exceptional distress at the time of the operation.

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Notes

  1. The content of the translated German penal code in relation to exception to liability for abortion is current as of 2010

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