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Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic StateA Comparative Study of State Feminism$
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Dorothy McBride Stetson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242665

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199242666.001.0001

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Abortion Debates in Germany

Abortion Debates in Germany

Chapter:
(p.111) 6 Abortion Debates in Germany
Source:
Abortion Politics, Women's Movements, and the Democratic State
Author(s):

Lynn Kamenitsa

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199242666.003.0006

Abortion law reform was a mobilizing issue for the women's movement actors in Germany. Despite their activism, abortion debates returned again and again to the goal of protecting unborn fetal life. Thus, despite two reforms that decriminalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the women's movement has not been successful in gaining its demands. Their primary adversary is the Constitutional Court, which has required that the law put the rights of the foetus first. Today, abortions are criminalized but not prosecuted if the woman gets extensive mandatory pro‐birth counselling. Women's policy agencies were active in the 1990s, but largely symbolic with respect to movement goals on the abortion issue.

Keywords:   abortion law, activism, constitutional court, counselling, foetal rights, Germany, women's movement, women's policy agencies

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