Germany – With a recent decision on abortion availability, the German Supreme Court has taken modest steps towards advancing the pro-life cause in Europe.
In a controversial ruling on May 27, Germany’s top judges overturned a liberal abortion law which would have allowed virtual abortion on demand.
Under the new legislation, abortion will remain legal up to three months or in the case of rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s life. However, German women must now receive counseling and medical approval before having one. The new law also prohibits health insurance plans or state hospitals to pay for the procedure.
The ruling came in the wake of attempts to harmonize the abortion laws in the country. East Germany used to allow abortion up to the first three months of a pregnancy while West Germany only allowed it under special circumstances.
German Parliament is now expected to re-draft the abortion reform law to formally express that the state officially disapproves of abortion but will allow it in certain cases after doctor consultation.
The ruling was immediately praised by Chancellor Helmut Kohl, pro-life groups and by the German Conference of Catholic Bishops who issued a statement saying “The real winner is mankind.”
One women’s group called the ruling a “catastrophe” and others staged small demonstrations in Berlin and Hamburg.