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Ulbricht, Alexej (2021) 'Who can talk about abortion? Information, offence, freedom of speech, and the advertising ban in Germany.' Politics. 026339572110244. (Forthcoming)

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Abstract

This article examines the debate in Germany on Article 219a of the criminal law, which prohibits doctors from advertising for abortions. This ban prevents advertising for abortions on the grounds that it would be offensive, while defining ‘advertising’ so broadly that it prevents doctors from publicly providing any information about abortions. The article offers an overview of the law, as well as the controversy following the conviction of General Practitioner Kristina Hänel, which led to a reform of the law. The curtailment of the provision of factual information by medical professionals is contrasted with the freedom of speech protection given to highly offensive speech acts by anti-abortion activists. The argument is made that there is a Christian perfectionism at the heart of the law on abortion in Germany that is shared by anti-abortion activists, leading to a situation that facilitates the mobilisation of anti-abortion sentiment while curtailing the freedom of speech of doctors.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1177/02633957211024489
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2021 14:34
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/35314

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