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The Federal Executive Board of the Democratic Women’s League of Germany: Working Directive on the Law for the Protection of Mothers and the Rights of Women (November 6, 1950)

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Question: Paragraph 11, Section 2 The commission that decides on the termination of a pregnancy also includes members of the DFD: are DFD women in a position to make a decision about a medical indication?

Answer: Only doctors can make a decision about the medical indication. However, in our new social order, all laws and decrees are deliberated jointly with the populace; the decisions are made jointly with it, and these decisions are also implemented together with the populace, in this case with the DFD.

In this, it will be necessary that constant supervision by the DFD take place. If the objection is voiced that the DFD women are not medically trained, one can respond that there are also lay judges [Schöffen] in the courts who have no prior legal training, and yet the panel of judges retires with the laypeople before rendering a judgment, and the laypeople are educated. In the same way, the medical education of the DFD women is very important, so that they can present these decisions to the population. [ . . . ]

Source: SAPMO-BArch, DY 31/295; reprinted in Dierk Hoffmann and Michael Schwartz, eds., Geschichte der Sozialpolitik in Deutschland seit 1945. Bd. 8: 1949-1961: Deutsche Demokratische Republik. Im Zeichen des Aufbaus des Sozialismus [History of Social Policy in Germany since 1945, Vol. 8: 1949-1961: German Democratic Republic. Under the Sign of the Build Up of Socialism]. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2004, no. 8/46.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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