According to §218 of the German Criminal Code, abortion is unlawful and only not punishable when done under certain circumstances:
- If you decide to have an abortion, then you must comply with statutory deadlines and regulations. You can abort the foetus until the 12th week after conception if you have already visited a counselling centre, talked to an expert and have received a consultation certificate, which proves that you as a pregnant woman have received comprehensive advice. You will find counselling centres in your area on familienplanung.de. Their service is free.
- If you become pregnant as a result of rape, you can go through an abortion until the 12th week after conception. In this case, you do not need to go to a counselling centre before abortion. You can, however, seek advice from a counselling centre in your area free of charge.
- If the pregnancy endangers your physical or mental health, you can go through an abortion even after the 12th week- but a doctor must confirm that continuation of the pregnancy will put your health at risk.
Please note: If you are under 18 years of age and want to go through an abortion, your mother or father usually need to agree. If you are over 16, the doctor may decide that you no longer need the consent of your parents; but under the age of 16, you will often need at least one parent’s consent. If you cannot tell your parents about the pregnancy, contact a counselling centre and seek help from the staff. Visit familienplanung.de to find a counselling centre in your area- the service is free of charge.