Pregnancy in conflict

Pregnancies in conflict situations

1. We at donum vitae believe that all life, including the life of an unborn child, is a gift. That being said, there are situations in life in which people face such insurmountable problems that they feel it is impossible to continue with the pregnancy.

These uncertainties can be due to worries, health problems or financial difficulties, relationship problems, fears, loneliness in the new life situation, traumatic events while fleeing or mourning the loss of loved ones.

2. If you are uncertain about whether or not to terminate your pregnancy, you are required by law in Germany (section 219 of the German Criminal Code) to go to a statutory pregnancy conflict counselling agency within the first 12 weeks and to seek advice there. This and your proof of having received counselling are the preconditions for a legal abortion.

The counselling service is free and confidential. Without your written permission, the counsellor cannot disclose any information about you or your problems to others. If necessary, an interpreter can be called upon who is also obliged to maintain confidentiality. You can talk about anything that you are worried about.

Together with you, we will help you to find a way for a life with your child. The purpose of these talks is to encourage you and to help you to find your way. What you decide in the end is up to you. We will help you to make your own decision and we will respect that decision no matter what you decide.

Counselling is available to women and men, alone or as a couple. You can, of course, also bring along another close person, such as your mother, sister or friend.

After counselling, if you wish, the counsellor will provide you with the required counselling certificate.

You can attend one or more counselling talks until you are able to decide with certainty whether to continue or terminate your pregnancy. Every woman is entitled to make this decision, even independent of their partner.
Instead of terminating the pregnancy, it is also possible to have the baby and then give the child up for adoption. The counsellor can provide you with extensive information and offer you much help in this matter.

Outside normal hours and in an emergency, you can reach our staff by calling the "Pregnant women in an emergency situation" hotline free of charge at 0800 4040020 where around-the-clock help is provided in several languages.

Our counselling service can also help you when it comes to financial and practical matters (Funds, work, housing, health, childcare, other assistance).

What you need to know about abortion

1. Your visit to the pregnancy counselling office must be at least three days before the day of termination. Termination of pregnancy can be surgical or non-surgical (medication) and must be performed by a medical doctor (male/female).

The counsellor will help you to find a medical practice where your native language is spoken and, if necessary, she will accompany you to the practice. You can also take along someone who is close to you to interpret for you.

A surgical abortion is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic as an outpatient procedure in a gynaecological practice or at a hospital. If you can, please have someone to accompany you home and to take care of your children, or ask the counsellor for help.

A non-surgical abortion is carried out in the first nine weeks of pregnancy only. In this case, you will take two sets of pills (under medical supervision) over a two-day period in order to terminate the pregnancy.

Bleeding, some nausea and light pain are normal side-effects. However, if you develop a fever, painful cramps and heavy bleeding, please contact your (male/female) gynaecologist.

A check-up exam is carried out two weeks after the termination.

2. Before you have an abortion, you will first have to clarify who is to pay for the treatment: this depends on your financial situation. If you have a job and earn enough, you will have to bear the costs yourself. If you receive benefits as an asylum seeker or unemployment benefits II, the abortion is free of charge for you. In this case, your statutory health insurance company will provide you with a cost-cover certificate.

3. Please take the following documents with you to the medical practice or hospital: the cost-cover certificate, the counselling certificate, the money transfer, the health insurance card or the treatment certificate and, if you have one, a blood group card or pregnancy book.

4. If you have decided to have an abortion and if you still feel the need to talk to someone afterwards, our counsellor will be pleased to help you and to inform you about methods of contraception and family planning.

Please remember that just two weeks after an abortion you could become pregnant again the next time you ovulate.

We have time for you – donum vitae.

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