Advocacy statements

Abortion access in Germany in the context of the UPR

  • Date / 2024
  • Location / Germany
  • Relevant Institution / UN Human Rights Council
  • UN Item / Item 6: Universal Periodic Review

Humanists International

55th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (26 February to 5 April 2024)

General Debate on Item 6

Speaker: Katrin Raczynski

Thank you Mr President.

I make this statement on behalf of Humanists International and the Humanist Association of Germany

We thank the delegation of Germany for its presentation. We welcome Germany’s acceptance of the recommendation that the government should continue its efforts to promote ​​sexual and reproductive health and rights and comprehensive sexuality education, as well as the right to safe and legal abortion.

The current federal government wants to strengthen women’s rights to self-determination and create a secure access to abortions. In June 2022, the Bundestag had already decided to abolish the ban on advertising abortions. Furthermore an important draft law to protect pregnant women from harassment by abortion opponents has been approved by the Federal Cabinet and must now be passed by the Bundestag. These are all steps we welcome and we encourage the government to continue on this path.

While abortion remains exempt from punishment in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, provided that certain conditions are met, the German Criminal Code currently states that anyone who terminates a pregnancy is punished with up to three years in prison.

We are disappointed that Germany has rejected recommendations to decriminalize abortion. While we hope to see decriminalization as the outcome of the government’s commission currently examining “regulations for abortion outside the criminal code”, we remind the government that abortion is not a crime, but a right women have that is protected under a variety of international human rights instruments. The Humanist Association of Germany is firmly committed to destigmatising and decriminalizing abortion. Women’s rights to self-determination and bodily autonomy must be upheld.

Thank you.

Suggested academic reference

'Abortion access in Germany in the context of the UPR', Humanists International

WordPress theme developer - whois: Andy White London