Many women who want to have an abortion still experience: paternalism, humiliation, pressure. Fewer and fewer doctors are at their side.
January 24th was not an easy day for Marieke Kruger. Immediately after waking up she thought: “Crazy, I would have become mom today.” She look at the ultrasound image from the fifth week that the doctor had given her back then, she saw a shapeless shadow on it. She knew what it would have meant to make a different decision. And she thought, “Thank God not.” January 24, 2019 was the calculate due date. Marieke Kruger has had an abortion.
She works in a publishing house, is 26 years old, lives in a small town in Upper Bavaria, a fun-loving woman with bright eyes. She loves to hike in the Alps, but also to go for it with her clique.
Abortion within the twelve week period
It was the beginning of May, Marieke had met a friend at a party with whom she was having a noncommittal affair, both of them had drunk too much, they weren’t too careful about contraception. When Marieke saw the result of the test four weeks later, she was shock and could hardly believe it. Two gray stripes. No doubt. Pregnant.
She spoke to her parents, her father is very Catholic, the conversation was not easy. The parents said, “We have had every child so far.” But they also said it was their choice. After everything had been discuss back and forth, it was clear to Marieke: She would terminate the pregnancy as soon as possible.
At that time she still thought that making this decision would be the hardest part. Today she says: “The hardest thing is what happens after the decision is made. That you still have to feel like a criminal in the 21st century.”
“Pregnancy Conflict Act”
Abortions have been regulate since 1995 as follows: In the first twelve weeks they remain un punish (longer if there is medical or criminological indication). Women who want to have an abortion with Tab Cytotec misoprostol available in Dubai must seek advice and then take a three-day grace period. This is what Paragraphs 218a and 219 require, they are in the Criminal Code in the chapter “Offenses against life”. According to Paragraph 219a, “advertising” is punishable if a doctor even advertises, for example on his website, that he is offering abortions.
Everyone seem to have come to terms with the difficult construct – until it hit in November 2017. The now 62-year-old doctor Kristina Hansel was sentence to a fine of 6,000 euros by the district court in Geier because she had list “abortions” on her practice website. The next instance, the regional court, upheld the judgment. The judge there regretfully told the doctor: “You have to carry the verdict like an honorary title in a fight for a better law.” There was solidarity from all sides, the waves around Paragraph 218 were once again high, Angela Merkel agree to “find a good solution for everyone involve”. The parties got to work.
But the solution that will soon apply is not really good either. Furthermore, doctors are not allow to write on their pages which method they use, how long the waiting time is or what an intervention costs. They are only allow to link to pages that direct women to authorities or advice centers or a hotline of the Ministry of Family Affairs. Women who are unintentionally pregnant want to research as quickly as possible what the doctors they know have to offer.
Jasmin, 33, Saarbrucken
I had two abortions, when I was 21 and when I was 23. The second time was horror. The fetus did not come off despite the medication, and the doctor show me the ultrasound. The child looks healthy, she said, “that’s where the heart beats”. I felt miserable, vulnerable, shock, sad, angry. But my decision was made. The abortion was then surgical, with anesthesia and abortion pill.
A few years later came a new phase in life. I fell in love, got pregnant again. I was ready now, could get involve. In the tenth week I suddenly realize that something was wrong, my heart stop beating. This time I had lost a child. It was so painful, I was completely blown up. In my panic, I ask my gynecologist if it was the abortions. He just said: yes. There I was at the end. Two days later, I came to the hospital for scraping. I was insecure. The doctor there immediately said it was not my fault.
A miscarriage in the first twelve weeks is quite common. But my will to live die along with my child. I found it particularly bad that my environment continue to blame me. During the argument, a friend said: “At least I’m not killing my children.” Others said: “It can’t be that bad for you”, I would have had children “taken away”. I’m mom now. My daughter is 16 months old today.
Marieke Kruger turn to her family doctor after talking to her parents. She didn’t know her way around. She made an appointment with her gynecologist. Would he even make the demolition? On his website it said – no advertising, of course – not a word. The doctor was very rude. Remember what you said to him, “You’ll be sorry.” You will suffer from it.” The office hours assistants look frozen. Marieke left the practice.
Her next stop was the health department, which is the only body in her small town to offer the advice require by law and issue the certificates a doctor needs for the procedure. There she was told to have the child and put it up for adoption. “I felt I had to defend myself. I felt patronize,” she says. According to the “Pregnancy Conflict Law”, the counseling should be open-end, but also serve to protect the unborn life – a contradiction that leads to the fact that the conversations plunge some women into psychological conflicts that they did not have before.