25-03-2016

Germany: Continuous decrease in abortions


German statistics for 2015 confirm the downward trend in the number of abortions for the past 15 years.

The German Federal Office of Statistics (Statistische Bundesamt) published, as every year since 1996, the figures relating to the number of abortions in Germany for 2015.

In 2015, the number of women who chose to terminate their pregnancy decreased compared with the previous year. About 99,200 abortions were reported, which is a reduction of 0.5 % compared to 2014. Since the introduction of these statistics in 1996, the highest number of abortions was reached in 2001, with 135,000 reported cases.

Nearly three quarters of women (73%) undergoing abortions were between 18 and 34 years old; 16 % were between 35 and 39 years old, 8 % were over 40; and 3 % younger than 18.

According to current German law, abortion remains forbidden (paragraph 218 of the penal code), and is authorized only in conformance with a list of exceptions (paragraph 218a). The main exception (96% of cases) concerns women who followed the rule of obligation of advice: they consulted and received all the necessary information concerning the act and its alternatives, and were delivered a receipt which they must present for the act to take place. Furthermore, the pregnancy must not exceed 12 weeks. For 4% of them, the abortion was validated for health reasons or criminal reasons (victims of rape).

As a reminder, the abortion rate in France is twice as high as in Germany (15.6 per thousand in France, versus 7 per thousand in Germany). The latest French statistics are on the rise: 229,000 abortions in 2013, for 810,000 births.

Alliance VITA insistently requests implementing a genuine abortion prevention policy in France, whereas the successive measures taken in the past two years have led to irresponsibility on the part of public authorities and society. Informing women whose pregnancy is unforeseen or difficult on access to social aids is essential however to avoid seeing abortion as a fatality. To make up for the absence of information on social aids by the French Ministry of Health, since 2010 VITA has been publishing a guide of social and financial aids for pregnant women: www.jesuisenceinteleguide.org