Federal states demand new regulations for early abortion

Federal states demand new regulations for early abortion


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Ludwigsburg – The Conference of Ministers for Equal Opportunities and Women’s Affairs (GFMK) is calling for a swift revision of the legal requirements for abortion, particularly in the so-called early phase. The Bundestag and the Federal Government are therefore called upon to present a catalogue of regulations and proposals for a time limit solution for the first twelve weeks outside of criminal law, demand the Ministers for Women.

Instead of the current mandatory counseling, there needs to be voluntary and free counseling, the demand continues. The possibility of carrying a pregnancy to term or terminating it of one’s own accord is a basic requirement for women’s reproductive self-determination, writes the 34th GFMK in a resolution passed by a majority. This highly personal decision primarily affects the core area of ​​personal freedom and self-determination as well as the personal development of a woman.

Federal Minister for Family Affairs Lisa Paus (Greens) welcomed the initiative of the states and explained: “With the motion for a resolution on the subject of abortion, the equal opportunities ministers have expressed that they support women’s right to self-determination and believe that decriminalization in the first three months is long overdue.” The recommendations of the Commission on Reproductive Self-Determination and Reproductive Medicine also urgently suggest abolishing the criminal illegality of abortion in the first three months. “We will reach agreement in the federal government on how to proceed,” announced Paus.

The GFMK also spoke out in favor of expanding psychosocial counseling for queer people. They need good psychosocial counseling close to where they live if they are confronted with exclusion and discrimination, the GFMK explained. Currently, counseling services for queer people still vary greatly depending on the federal state. “We have called on the federal government to create a nationwide overview of counseling services and needs,” said GFMK Chairwoman and State Secretary in the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Social Affairs, Ute Leidig (Greens). “On this basis, for example, uniform training courses for counseling professionals could be implemented.”

Long-term study on hormone therapy during menopause called for

The conference also called on the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) to commission a long-term clinical study on current guideline-based hormone therapies during the menopause. The knowledge of doctors and affected women about physiological changes caused by the menopause must be expanded in order to ensure health promotion. The states are also calling for a nationwide campaign to educate employers and the public about the menopause.

The topic of endometriosis must also be removed from the taboo. Menstrual pain in general and endometriosis in particular are still a marginal issue that receives too little attention in society, the GFMK wrote in a resolution. “In Germany, an estimated ten to 15 percent of all girls and women suffer from endometriosis between the start of their period and the onset of menopause.”

Due to severe chronic pain and a wide range of accompanying symptoms, the disease can severely impair the quality of life and performance of girls and women. Endometriosis also has considerable economic significance, for example due to sick leave, medical costs, a high risk of involuntary childlessness and the risk of poverty.

A cross-departmental “National Endometriosis Strategy” is needed under the leadership of the BMG and involving relevant medical and scientific professional societies as well as associations of those affected. France and Australia are role models here. The aim is, among other things, to promote extensive research into endometriosis, increase awareness and achieve an improvement in care. The GFMK is also asking the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK) to take up this issue. The GMK also met this week in Lübeck-Travemünde.

Education about female genital mutilation

The states also stressed the need for greater awareness and information on the subject of female genital mutilation. “Girls and women must also be protected from female genital mutilation in Germany,” said Leidig. “Several federal states already have central contact points or coordination centers that offer assistance, information and training opportunities on the subject of female genital mutilation.”

However, what is needed is a prevention program controlled by the federal government and an overall coordination of awareness-raising programs that offer support to these bodies, explained Leidig. In doing so, Germany would also be complying with the call of the Committee of Experts on the Implementation of the Istanbul Convention to expand political measures against female genital mutilation.

In addition, women’s shelters and counseling centers must be strengthened, is another demand of the GFMK. In the coalition agreement, the federal government confirmed its intention to secure the funding of women’s shelters and counseling centers. “The states continue to welcome this plan. By creating a binding legal framework, Germany would be fulfilling its responsibility to protect women and to combat domestic and gender-based violence,” explained Leidig.

A legal right to protection from domestic violence and reliable financing of the assistance system are long overdue. The states called on the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) to determine the type and amount of the federal government’s mandatory cost contribution and to submit a draft law quickly. In addition, the assistance system should also be given greater support with regard to cyberstalking and digitalized violence. The GFMK therefore calls for the topics to be included in the federal action plan for implementing the Istanbul Convention and to be supported with appropriate funds.

In addition, clear and binding standards are needed for the development of gender-equitable and discrimination-free systems based on artificial intelligence (AI). The federal government must set appropriate standards, was another demand of the conference. “We must use the potential of AI in terms of equality policy and use AI to promote gender equality. Feminist initiatives for research and development in the field of AI must be more strongly supported by the federal government,” said GFMK chairwoman Leidig. © cmk/aerzteblatt.de

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