Can I terminate the pregnancy?

According to §218 of the German Criminal Code, abortion is unlawful and only not punishable when done under certain circumstances:

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Who pays the costs of an abortion?

If you become pregnant through rape, or if your pregnancy endangers your health, your health insurance or the Social Welfare Office will cover the costs of abortion. If you want to end your pregnancy for other reasons, you will have to pay part of the expenses yourself; as your health insurance will only cover the costs of medical consultation and care as well as the medication before and after the procedure. You have to pay for the actual abortion process, which usually costs between 200 to 600 euro. You can find out more about the various abortion methods in many different languages ​​at zanzu.de.

Please note: If you receive benefits from the Social Welfare Office, Jobcentre, BAB or BAföG, or in case you do not earn much, you can apply for the assumption of the costs of abortion (“Übernahme der Kosten für die Abtreibung”) at your health insurance or the Social Welfare Office.

I do not want to keep the child, but I do not want to go through abortion - what can I do?

If you are not able to (or do not want to) raise your child, you can put the child up for adoption after birth. The Youth Welfare Office then takes responsibility and looks after your child for the time being. If you ultimately decide that you do not want to raise your child yourself, you can settle for adoption. The Youth Welfare Office will then look for a caring family that can raise your child.

Even if nobody can know about your pregnancy, there is still a possibility to give birth to your child- and you do not have to go through the process on your own either. You can opt for a so-called "confidential delivery" ("vertraulichen Geburt") and safely deliver your child in a hospital. Nobody will know your name except for a female consultant, and she is not allowed to talk to anyone about you- so you remain anonymous. After 16 years and under certain circumstances, your child have the right learn your name. But apart from your child, nobody has such a right.

Furthermore, you do not have to pay the costs of counselling and childbirth. If you want a "confidential delivery", you can contact the counselling centre "Beratung & Geburt vertraulich" 24 hours a day at 0800-4040020 or visit www.geburt-vertraulich.de for online counselling. The service is free and anonymous, and the staff speak many languages. You can also contact a counselling centre in your area familienplanung.de. Alternatively, you can contact any clinic- the staff will know what to do.

 

What is the "morning-after pill"?

If you have had unprotected sex and are worried that you might get pregnant, you can take the so-called "morning-after pill" within 12 hours of having sexual intercourse. The "morning-after pill" can prevent fertilisation of the egg- you can obtain such a pill without a prescription in any pharmacy. It usually costs between 15  to 30 euro. Keep in mind that time is of significance here: waiting for more than 12 hours will reduce the likelihood that the morning-after pill will work. Please note: The morning-after pill is not an abortion pill. It can only prevent pregnancy but not terminate it. If you are already pregnant, it is too late for the morning-after pill.

How can I prevent pregnancy?

The most common contraceptives are condoms and the so-called "birth control pills" ("Antibabypille"). You can buy condoms in supermarkets, drugstores and pharmacies, but for obtaining the birth control pill, you need a prescription from your gynaecologist. Birth control pills interfere with your natural hormonal balance and are considered as medicine; therefore, it is only available in the pharmacy and is handed when there is a prescription. These pills usually cost between 10  to 20 euro per month. For girls under 18 who are covered by statutory health insurance, the costs are covered by the insurance. If you are between 18 and 20 years old, you only have to pay 10% of the birth control pill if you are covered by statutory health insurance. In case you are covered by private health insurance, you will have to pay the costs personally, regardless of your age. If you are still in the asylum procedure, you can ask the staff member responsible at the Social Welfare Office if the costs can be covered. If you want to know more about the effects of birth control pills or other contraceptives, consult a gynaecologist or a counselling centre. You can also read more (in many languages) on the zanzu.de.