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Germany’s commission recommends legalizing abortions within first 12 weeks, reports ET HealthWorld

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Abortions in first 12 weeks should be legal in Germany, commission says, ET HealthWorld

Germany’s government-appointed commission has recommended legalizing abortions within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Currently, abortion is illegal in Germany except under certain circumstances, such as when the woman’s life is at risk or in cases of violent crime. The commission, made up of experts in medicine, psychology, ethics, and law, was set up by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left coalition to explore potential new rules. The recommendations, which call for making early-phase abortions legal and unpunishable, are due to be published later on Monday.

The commission also proposed that abortions should remain banned when the embryo becomes viable around the 22nd week of pregnancy. The decision on the rules between early and late stages of pregnancy would be left to lawmakers. It will ultimately be up to the government to decide whether to accept the commission’s advice, with some conservative opposition members hinting at possible legal challenges.

Abortion rights have been a contentious issue globally, with Poland’s 2021 abortion law revisions sparking debate, and French President Emmanuel Macron advocating for the EU to guarantee the right to abortion in its Charter of Fundamental Rights. Germany itself recently scrapped a Nazi-era law that restricted doctors from providing information about pregnancy terminations.

The commission’s recommendation aligns with the growing push for reproductive rights in Europe and marks a potential shift in Germany’s abortion laws. The decision on whether to legalize abortions within the first 12 weeks now rests with the government, highlighting the ongoing debate surrounding reproductive rights in the country and beyond.

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