• Germany's news in English

Ban upheld on anti-abortion activists approaching pregnancy centre visitors

The Local · 16 Jun 2011, 15:14

Published: 16 Jun 2011 15:14 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

People from the association ‘Life Centre – Helpers for God’s Precious Children in Germany,’ have been approaching women entering the Pro Familia advice centre, showing them photos of aborted foetuses, calling out, “Please mummy, let your child live,” and praying with rosaries hung with model foetuses.

These ‘pavement advisors’ were upsetting the visitors to the Freiburg Pro Familia advice centre so much that manager there, Friedrich Traub made an official complaint to the city authorities.

He told the Badische Zeitung newspaper that only the smallest part of his office’s work was with pregnant women trying to decide whether to keep a baby or not.

In 2009, he told the paper, the organisation in Freiburg and nearby Lörrach had supported 2,000 women with their pregnancies, offered 3,000 people general advice as well as informing thousands of young people about sex and contraception at various events. There were only 900 offers of help to women looking for help with an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy.

The ‘pavement advisors’ increased their activity early this year, approaching women heading to or from the Pro Familia office. “They are trying to exert emotional pressure,” said Traub. One woman was even offered €200 a month in maintenance to keep her baby while another woman was approached via her family.

Traub approached the city authorities for a ban of the campaigners from the street on which his office is located. This they duly did, imposing a €250 fine on anyone who approached unbidden to talk about a ‘pregnancy conflict situation’ or to show them brochures, pictures or objects on that theme.

An appeal against this decision was rejected on Thursday, with the Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg upholding the ban.

“In the early phase of pregnancy, most women are in a particular psychological state in which in certain cases difficult conflict situations can emerge,” the court said in a statement.

“This pregnancy conflict is experienced by the woman as the most highly personal conflict. She has a right therefore, to be left in peace by strangers who might speak to her on the street.”

Story continues below…

The court said it saw a need for state intervention as an unknown number of women were being affected, and that although they would have the option to take legal steps themselves, this would hardly prevent the distress caused.

Also, the court said, women in such a situation should not be expected to take individual legal action as such a move would remove their right to anonymity.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

23:55 June 16, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
good to see that courts in this country still have a shred of sense.

As for that "Life Centre" - well, it's the usual suspects all over again. Christian Right anti-choice splinter groups that merely see women as breeding machines without rights... don't believe any of their rhethoric that they are just concerned about women's well-being and that of their unborn children... they're religious fanatics. Plain and simple.

It's good that one of the highest courts in Baden-Wuerttemberg has cut those extremists down to size...but alas, I have a feeling this will not be the last we have heard of them. Radical Christian groups like that have a habit of bringing in the heavies (i.e. wealthy powerful Christian lawyers) and taking a case like that all the way up to European courts if they have to. Be afraid...be very afraid.
03:45 June 17, 2011 by jmclewis
It is time for people on all sides of the abortion debate to realize the conduct whether right or wrong and what may be medically necessary or a sin of convenience is to be carried by the people who decide to have an abortion. The focus would be better spent of birth control and adoption.
09:28 June 17, 2011 by Baynik
So nice to read another "Oh, I'm so tolerant, non-radical, non-fanatical, I love all people and respect all, anti-life, atheist-left" comment! Thanks "iseedaftpeople"
10:04 June 17, 2011 by harcourt
Baynik I think you have jumped to a conclusion which is possibly fallacious. Have you ever thought that the writer of #1 could just be someone who abhors the Radical elements within his/her religion. May I point out that is what the vast majority of decent Muslim believers think about Radical Islam. I think you may have highlighted your own prejudices !!
11:00 June 17, 2011 by trash head
> atheist-left

What has atheism to do with a political view?
12:14 June 17, 2011 by freechoice
more lives will be exterminated, thanks to the 'shred of sense' of courts in this country. and the fetuses do not have the ability to speak up for it's pitiful existence. people should be informed to made the right decisions instead of doing the most quick and dirty thing like slaughtering innocent lives.
12:56 June 17, 2011 by harcourt
Oh dear, I can see this descending into an emotive and irrational argument !!
13:17 June 17, 2011 by So36
Oh the irony of freechoice's comment and forum handle.
13:45 June 17, 2011 by iche
Ah yes.

Another great import from our yankee friends.

Right wing nut jobs.
14:18 June 17, 2011 by William Thirteen
i suspect that's one of the last successful American export industries left!
14:31 June 17, 2011 by freechoice
nah! let's all be rational and indifferent towards the acts of stopping the fetus from growing!! And be guilt free of course!
23:22 June 17, 2011 by farmon
First off: It is a baby and is the German's most valuable resorce. While we Germans kill off our offspring, Islamist are out to take us over. Liberal aitheist are deadly to our nation.
04:04 June 19, 2011 by Global Macro
The question before the court was simply freedom of speech. The court chose to stifle freedom of speech. This is a common trend among increasingly oppressive European regimes. You are free to express your opinion so long as you agree with a government policy. If you profess a position that is opposed to government policy, then you are guilty of hate speech.
10:32 June 21, 2011 by moistvelvet
@Global Macro, no freedom of speech is fine until it directly affects another person, hounding people going into this centre is not expressing freedom of speech, it is abuse and intimidation. I am not pro abortion, I am not anti abortion, but I could see a reason for one of these nut jobs to get a slap in the face.
22:21 September 19, 2011 by Chloesmom
Princeton professor Robert P Georges writes, "From a purely biological perspective, scientists can identify the point at which a human life begins. The relevant studies are legion. The biological facts are uncontested. The method of analysis applied to the data is universally accepted."

The late Dr. Hymie Gordon, founder and director of the Mayo Clinic's world-renowned medical genetics program, submitted the following expert testimony before Congress in the United States: "I think we can now also say that the question of the beginning of life - when life begins - is no longer a question for theological or philosophical dispute. It is an established scientific fact. Theologians and philosophers may go on to debate the meaning of life or purpose of life, but it is an established fact that all life, including human life, begins at the moment of conception."

The question has never been about choice. The question has always been about when life begins. According to leading scientists worldwide, life begins at conception; therefore, abortion is murder of the unborn. The old argument of choice is just that... old. Ask anyone in the street, "when does a person have the right to take an innocent life?" and 99.9% of people will say never. Hitler didn't have the right - nor did Stalin nor any of the other dictators known for their tyranny. Pro-choicers and abortion doctors are no different.
Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd