The German government is set to pass a new law curbing prayer vigils and pro-life protests outside abortion clinics. Germany’s Minister of Family Affairs, Lisa Paus, on Thursday proposed new legislation restricting pro-life protests.
The announcement comes as Christian groups mobilize grassroots campaign against the government’s push to legalize abortion.
Abortion is illegal in Germany. However, it is currently permitted under certain conditions and must be carried out within 12 weeks of conception. Germany’s Socialist and Green Party-dominated government wants to ease further restrictions on abortion.
This year, Christian groups in Germany have joined forces with a U.S.-based pro-life initiative, “40 Days for Life,” to take a stand against the government’s proposed move. As part of the initiative, they are forming prayer vigils outside abortion clinics across Germany, earning the ire of the government and the country’s leftwing establishment.
Besides prayer and fasting, the “public centerpiece of 40 Days for Life is a focused, 40-day, non-stop, round-the-clock prayer vigil outside a single Planned Parenthood center or other abortion facility in your community,” the organization’s website explains. The 40-day campaign, which coincides with Lent, began on Ash Wednesday (February 22) and ends on April 2.
Noting the campaign’s impact, German Catholic weekly Die Tagespost reported Friday:
In Germany, “40 Days for Life” has also targeted counseling centers for pregnant women, which issue certificates that entitle pregnant women and doctors to carry out prenatal infanticide with impunity under the applicable legal regulations. Abortion practices and counseling centers in Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Pforzheim and Stuttgart are affected.
The Germany’s state-run DW TV reported Saturday:
The German government is looking to stop protesters blocking access to abortion facilities and counseling centers. It comes amid efforts to decriminalize abortion in Germany.
Germany’s family minister, Lisa Paus, has vowed to introduce legislation to stop anti-abortion activists from blocking access to abortion facilities, she told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) media group on Thursday.
The comments from Paus, a member of the Greens, come as anti-abortion activists planned a “40 days for life” protest campaign in front of counseling centers and medical centers in the 40 days of Lent ahead before Easter.
“Women must have unhindered access to counseling services and facilities that perform abortions,” Paus told RND.
She described so-called “vigil” protests as “violations and unacceptable attacks on women’s extremely personal decision.”
“The German government will counter this with legal measures,” the minister said.
Protesters targeting counseling centers The protests, modeled on an international Christian movement from the United States, aim to close down abortion centers through vigils, prayer and fasting.
The action comes as the center-left German coalition government moves forward with its plans to decriminalize abortion — a plan set out at the very beginning of its term.
Currently, abortion is illegal in Germany, but women and their doctors do not face penalties if the pregnancy poses a health risk to the woman or in cases of rape. There is also a loophole under which an abortion may be carried out within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (14 weeks since the last period) after mandatory counseling.
The German government is smearing pro-life Christian activists as bullies who are blocking pregnant women from accessing abortion clinics.
Germany’s “Minister of Family Affairs Lisa Paus is planning a law to give pregnant women, who want to have an abortion, unrestricted access to counseling centers and medical clinics. She is responding to protests announced by anti-abortion activists,” German public broadcaster MDR reported. “In coming weeks, opponents of abortion seek to protest more intensely against abortions,” the media outlet feared.
An estimated 100,000 unborn babies are aborted in German each year. This coincides with the German political establishment’s efforts to portray unregulated mass-migration from Muslim-majority Middle East and North Africa as a solution for the country’s aging and declining population.
(Excerpts from German media reports translated by the author)DONATE
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