Source: The Guardian
BY Kate Connolly in Berlin
A debate over proposals to scrap a Nazi-era law that forbids German doctors from providing information on abortion is expected to set the tone of the new coalition government when it is voted on this week.
Under paragraph 219a of the German penal code, it is a crime to advertise, offer or give information on abortion services, and those found guilty of doing so can face a two-year jail sentence or a hefty fine.
The liberal parties in the Bundestag, once showing a united front, are now split on whether to amend the law or scrap it, while the conservative parties – Angela Merkel’s CDU, the CSU and the far-right AfD – are in favour of keeping it intact.
The Social Democrats (SPD), in a campaign led by MP Eva Högl who has called the clause “out of date”, had backed the initial proposal by the pro-business FDP, the Greens and far-left Die Linke to abolish it. But the party appeared to backtrack days after reaching a coalition agreement with the CDU with which it will re-enter a government and said it was seeking a compromise instead.