More and more people are using telemedicine. Even women who want to end their pregnancy with medication themselves. Is it ok? States want to embellish this gray legal area.
Stuttgart/Hamburg – In the future, pregnant women across Germany may be able to get an abortion with the use of a drug after a doctor’s consultation online. States now want to work with the federal government to develop a legally secure basis for this option, which is already being practiced in some cases.
The decision was made by the ministers for equality and women at their conference in Hamburg, the German News Agency learns. There are already offers from doctors, for example in Berlin, where women can get abortion drugs after an online consultation – no matter where they live in Germany. The application for the initiative came from Baden-Württemberg.
“Don’t leave women alone”
Responsible State Secretary Ute Leidig (Greens) explained that she had to face reality. “Pregnancy abortions are currently monitored by telemedicine. However, many legal regulations date back to a time when this possibility of medical abortion did not yet exist.” That needs to be adjusted now. “We must not leave women alone – and we certainly must not leave them in legal limbo.” However, Leidig also said that it will have to wait and see what the outcome of the discussion process will be.
In principle, doctors can easily use video consultations for all patients and diseases. Even exclusive online advice or treatment is permitted under certain circumstances in individual cases. “There are also no abortion regulations that would limit the use of video consultations,” explains the Ministry of Social Affairs in Stuttgart.
But there are also specific problems: until now, for example, it was the law that pharmacies could only send drugs for abortion to an institution where women could also be treated. In addition, it is still unclear what constitutes “necessary follow-up treatment” in the event of a medical termination.
There are no specifications for what evidence doctors must bring to pharmacies in order to make it clear that it is a facility with the possibility of subsequent treatment, the ministry explains. In addition, it must be clarified how, in the case of sending the drug by mail, it can be ensured that unauthorized persons cannot remove the drug.