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Mandatory counseling in pregnancy conflicts

by Julia Seeberg

Protection for everyone involved

Advocates of liberalizing abortion in Germany are calling for the abolition of mandatory pregnancy conflict counselling. However, current regulations and the experience of counselors show that mandatory counseling is the best way to do justice to the ethical, legal and psychosocial dimensions of this conflict.

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In its report, the Commission for Reproductive Self-Determination and Reproductive Medicine appointed by the Federal Government recommends a comprehensive redesign of Section 218 of the German Criminal Code and advocates a three-stage model.

Advocates of a liberalization of the current legal situation call for the abolition of mandatory counselling in pregnancy conflicts, as they see this as a restriction of a woman's self-determination.
However, compulsory counseling offers a protected space and therefore also support and guidance in this difficult decision. In particular, it reaches women who are often under pressure within their social environment and would not voluntarily seek counseling without an obligation.

The current regulation ensures that the ethical, legal and psychosocial dimensions of abortion are taken into account.

The current legislation, based on the fundamental rulings of the Federal Constitutional Court in 1975 and 1993, protects both the woman's right to self-determination and the right of the unborn child. This compromise solution has proven its worth and is an expression of democratic values

Read the full Monitor: “Mandatory counseling in pregnancy conflicts. Valuable protection for everyone involved ” here as a PDF.

Please note, to date the paper is only available in German.

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Patricia Ehret


Churches and Religious Communities +49 030 26 996 3784 +49 030 26 996 3551


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