German Minister wants buffer zones around abortion clinics
Germany prohibits abortion, but under the condition that women receive mandatory counseling, it is not punishable during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is also not punished in cases of danger for the woman's health or rape. As many politicians ask for its legalization, Lisa Paus, Federal Minister for Family Affairs, expressed her intentions to create buffer zones around abortion clinics, which poses a real thread on freedom of speech and thought if, as in the UK or Spain, they include the prohibition of prayer, for example.
State-owned Deutsche Welle reported that Germany's family minister, Lisa Paus, pledged to introduce legislation to "prevent pro-lifers from obstructing access to abortion facilities" in comments made to the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) media group. These comments come in line with the attempt to fully legalize abortion in Germany.
Abortion is theoretically illegal in Germany, but the broad exceptions allow it when the mother’s health is at risk, when the pregnancy is the result of rape, and up to the 12th week when the mother undergoes mandatory counselling.
Similar legislation has already been introduced in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, making 'thought crime' a reality there, since silent prayer or other non-coercive forms of protest are also prohibited inside the buffer zones.
On a local level, a German Administrative Court court ruled in 2022 that it was illegal for the city of Frankfurt to create buffer zones around abortion centers. Likewise, after three years of legal battle, in 2021 another administrative court ruled the ban that the Pforzheim authorities had imposed on anti-abortion activists around clinics as unlawful.