From compromise no trace | ZEIT ONLINE

If the doctor Kristina Hänel appears this Friday before the district court Giessen on her appointment, she would like to be convicted again. She wants, she says herself, that her case goes through the courts and is finally negotiated before the Federal Constitutional Court. Hänel considers section 219a of the Criminal Code to be unconstitutional. It prohibits the promotion of abortions and makes doctors who offer abortions and inform about abortions punishable.
            If the grand coalition agrees in advance, Hänel would not have to go to Karlsruhe. In the spring, Union and SPD argued over the case of Kristina Hänel about whether the advertising ban of the 219a StGB should not simply be abolished. The SPD was in favor, the Union against it. The Chancellor announced a good solution for all concerned. But half a year later, it does not look like an agreement at all.
            The general practitioner Hänel had informed on their website about abortions in their practice and was therefore sentenced last November to a fine of 6,000 euros. The fact that she receives a fee for every abortion is regarded as an asset advantage within the meaning of the law and makes the information about the abortion illegal. The SPD thereupon drafted a bill, which provided for a repeal of the advertising ban according to §219a Penal Code. Shortly before the formation of a new government with the Union, however, she withdrew it again out of consideration for the coalition climate. Federal Minister of Justice Katarina Barley (SPD) was finally commissioned to work out a compromise.
            There is no trace of it so far. For Barley's ministry is apparently to mediate between two irreconcilable positions. Although a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice says that there have been "constructive talks" between the Family, Health and Justice ministries with the Federal Chancellery. "They are still ongoing." The plan is that the Federal Minister of Justice will present a compromise proposal in the fall.
            The Ministry of Health under Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), on the other hand, holds back: One can not give an intermediate state. "A concerted attitude of the Federal Government over the further procedure is not yet available", announces also a government spokesman.
            "No reason for optimism" Meanwhile, some doubt that there will be any compromise at all. "The Chancellor promised us in April that she would present a government bill, and we want to have it by the end of October," says Johannes Fechner, spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group. At present, however, there is "no reason for optimism" that a joint draft of the governing parties comes about, says Fechner.
            The SPD wanted to at least limit the offense of the paragraph 219a: "The pertinent information sharing must be possible," says Fechner. He assumes that such factual information can be well distinguished from a praiseworthy advertisement for abortions. For such a compromise, he also sees a majority in the Bundestag – so, if necessary, with the help of the opposition parties.
            The union, criticizes Fechner, wants to leave the facts unchanged "and thus accepts a departure from our liberal abortion right through the back door". For, as Fechner fears, if it were forbidden for physicians to inform about discontinuations, fewer would find themselves in the future who make them. "We need legal certainty for doctors." And if the government bill does not come in October? The SPD faction leads talks, says Fechner, internally and with other factions. Everything else will be seen.
            The Union sees no need for change An application supported by opposition factions in the Bundestag would be an affront to the coalition partner. However, for the SPD, which desires to change the law, it may be the only way to amend Paragraph 219a.
            Because the Union faction still sees no need for change to the law, says Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, spokeswoman for the legal policy of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group. "A government bill that deletes or restricts Clause 219a would not be borne by us." The best way to better inform patients and protect physicians from lawsuits is to strengthen independent counseling centers, says Winkelmeier-Becker. Doctors could tell these sites without any risk that they will perform abortions and thus provide information to those women who decide to seek abortion after counseling. "Regardless of this, every job and even every private person, with the exception of the doctors who offer them, can publish lists of doctors and practices without any problems with Article 219a." It's not about denying the women any information. "We take the state protection order for the unborn life seriously," says Winkelmeier-Becker.
            Vote without fraction compulsion? If there should be a change in the current legal text, the CDU politician fears, it could not only
Give information on the websites of doctors, but also
Poster advertising for providers of abortions: Are you unwanted
pregnant? Come to us! "That would lead to abortions
would be regarded as a normal treatment, "says Winkelmeier-Becker.
            If, in fact, no joint draft of the Union and the SPD comes about, a change in the law would nevertheless have a majority in the Bundestag: SPD, FDP, Greens and Left are in favor, Union and AfD against. The SPD hopes that it could agree with the Union on a procedure that does not cause a dispute: there could be a consensus on a change in the law. In the decision of conscience, the disciplinary discipline is repealed, each member of parliament can decide as his conscience tells him. This was also the case with the opening of marriage for gays and lesbians as well as with the decision of the Bundestag on genetic tests on embryos. Both times there was a majority in the Bundestag for the change of law.

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