It's done! After almost 90 years, the suppressive Paragraph 219a has finally been removed from the German Criminal Code. For the first time, all medical professionals are allowed to put out abortion related information publicly, without the fear of prosecution.
We celebrate this success, joining everyone who fought for the freedom of information, for doctors and women.
A campaign for the right to information
In 1933, Paragraph 219a was passed in Germany. The law prohibited doctors from publicly informing people about safe abortion methods that they provided. In the modern context, they were even prohibited from publishing methods and risks of such an intervention, on their own website. Doctors who defied this were unjustly criminalised. For a woman dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, crucial information was difficult to access, which could lead to serious repercussions.
But we spotted something absurd in the law: This prohibition only applied to doctors and had no mention of people who were completely unfamiliar with the subject. Misleading information on the subject was often seen spreading on the Internet.
We decided to exploit this loophole and shed light on the subject. As a unique form of protest, we got everyone to talk about safe abortion methods, except doctors. We brought in regular people and influencers as ambassadors, to put the information out. Across radio spots and short films, they shared medically-backed information on the topic and called on the community to do the same, while spreading awareness about the law.
On the campaign site and via social media, people could share ready-made films and posts about abortion – something that had never happened before. With the help of a downloadable action pack, it was also possible to disseminate important information within organisations or companies for a larger reach. This topic became a big part of political discourse in Germany - leading to historic results that will have a lasting impact on Germany.
As a result, the first official act of the new German government was to announce the abolition of Paragraph 219a. Doctors in Germany can finally talk openly and publicly about safe abortion methods without the fear of public prosecution. Women in Germany will never have to worry about getting access to the right advise whenever they need it. This will in turn help reduce the stigma and guilt that is associated with abortions. But our fight goes on, because abortion itself should not be a criminal offense, even conditionally, as stated in Paragraph 218. And the right to unrestricted medical care is a human right. We therefore say: #abolish218!
Facts at a glance
If you are unintentionally pregnant and urgently looking for medical facts, download our PDF and get information regarding treatment and options.