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Legalizing First Trimester Abortions in the GDR (March 13, 1972)

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The representatives’ decision to follow their conscience led citizens, especially those connected to the church, to say that this increased the authority of our Volkskammer.

On numerous occasions, Union Friends asked if the no-votes and abstentions came exclusively from the party caucus of the CDU, therefore expressing a specifically Christian stance. Union Friend Kniebusch (strict Catholic) of Magdeburg City, for example, said that since it could not be determined from the media what parties the no-votes and abstentions came from, he had to think about announcing his intention to leave the party. Union Friend Haupt, partner from Radebeul, member of the district executive committee in Dresden, wrote a letter before the Volkskammer session to the district chairman to say he was convinced that the Union Friends [Gerald] Götting and [Max] Sefrin in the Volkskammer would speak out against the law. He referred to the personal friendship between Union Friend Götting and Albert Schweitzer. He called the termination of a pregnancy the murder of nascent life and a violation of the respect for life, and he said that if the CDU Volkskammer party caucus did not represent a uniform opinion against the law, he would leave the CDU.

The opinion on the substance of the law on the termination of pregnancy did not change among Union Friends after the decision passed by the Volkskammer. To this day, among those Protestant and especially Catholic Christians who are closely tied to the church, rejection of the termination of pregnancy still predominates.


Source: Bundesarchiv Berlin, SAPMO, DY 30/IVB2/2.028m sheet 40; reprinted in Henrik Eberle and Denise Wesenberg, eds., Einverstanden, E.H.: Parteiinterne Hausmitteilungen, Briefe, Akten und Intrigen aus der Honecker-Zeit [Agreed, E.H.: Internal Party Memos, Letters, Files, and Conspiracies from the Honecker Era]. Berlin, 1999, pp. 74-75.

Translation: Allison Brown

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