German doctors fined for abortion ads

Berlin, Germany, Jun 17, 2019 / 05:29 pm (CNA).- Two German doctors were fined Friday for abortion advertisements which described how the procedure is carried out.

The Berlin district court ruled June 14 that advertisements may only promote abortion services and not go into descriptions about the procedure.

The decision followed a legal revision earlier this year which removed a complete ban on abortion advertisements.

“Doctors should in principle only indicate that they carry out abortions,” the court said, according to France 24.

The gynecologists, Bettina Gaber and Verena Weyer, were fined 2,000 euro ($2,240) each for posting detailed advertisements for their joint practice in Berlin. The original fine was more than $8,000.

On their website, the advertisement included the words “anesthesia-free” and “drug induced,” according to the New York Times.

The doctors have said they will file an appeal to the court decision. They said the recent ruling restricts their freedoms of occupation and opinion.

In January, the German government relaxed a 1933 act that outlawed abortion advertisements, allowing doctors and hospitals to advertise abortion services.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, wanted the ban to stay, while the Social Democratic Party of Germany, a junior partner in the coalition government, favored a complete removal of the law.

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