Berlin doctor raises constitutional complaint against paragraph 219a

The penal code in a library, about dts
The penal code in a library, about dts

Berlin doctor Bettina Gaber has lodged a constitutional complaint against the controversial paragraph 219a of the Criminal Code. She and her lawyer consider the law to be unconstitutional: "This paragraph must be completely abolished," said the doctor at "taz". Gaber was legally fined in November for saying on her website that "drug-free, anesthetic-free termination of pregnancy in a protected atmosphere" was part of her services.

According to the court, she has illegally "promoted" the termination of pregnancy. Gaber's constitutional complaint states that the norm interferes disproportionately with freedom of expression, expression and information. It contains "paradoxes and blatant contradictions in valuation". On the basis of "unclear laws" one shouldn't judge anyone, quotes the "taz" from the complaint. The paragraph clearly aims to "make it difficult for a pregnant woman who is looking for information to get the information that is important and decisive for her in the short amount of time", Gabers lawyer writes. This is not a legitimate reason to interfere with fundamental rights. There is also the question of the legal property to be protected. The paragraph is "not suitable to protect unborn life," writes the lawyer. The only thing worth considering is the protection of public morals. In paragraph 219a, this comes from 1974, so is 45 years old. Paragraph 219a had been heavily criticized nationwide since a Gießen doctor was fined in November 2017 - also for her website. According to the old version of the paragraph, advertising was already forbidden if one informed publicly that abortions were carried out. After a long political debate, the grand coalition agreed on a reform at the end of 2018: Doctors can now write that they are performing abortions. However, any further information remains forbidden, for this you must refer to authorized bodies - for example, a list of the Federal Medical Association. The case against two female doctors in Kassel was discontinued after the reform of the paragraph, the verdict against the female doctor from Gießen was confirmed on December 12 at the competent regional court. She also wants to take action against the judgment. The Federal Constitutional Court must now decide whether to accept Gaber's constitutional complaint. ()