Unwanted pregnancy?

Statistically, half of all pregnancies are unplanned, of which around half are unwanted and half of these patients decide to have an abortion. In total, around 100,000 pregnancies are terminated in Germany every year.

In the following, we assume the situation of an unintentionally pregnant woman who wishes to terminate her pregnancy. We explain the procedure according to the so-called counselling regulation  (Beratungsregel), according to which 96% of all abortions are carried out. However, there is also the legal possibility of a medical or criminological indication. For more information on the different indications, click here.

What to do?

Concrete procedure

  • The first point of contact for an unwanted pregnancy can be your gynaecologist or family doctor. You can also contact a counselling centre directly.
  • A termination of pregnancy according to the counselling regulations is possible up to the 14th week of pregnancy. For this, a counselling session must be arranged at a pregnancy conflict counselling centre or a doctor who performs abortions must be found. There must be a waiting period of at least 3 days between the counselling session and the abortion.
    • To find a certified counselling centre, you can use the following search engine from the BZgA. IMPORTANT: A “counselling certificate” (Beratungsschein) is required for an abortion. When searching, a tick must therefore be placed next to “counselling certificate”. You can also visit a counselling centre if you have not yet made a decision.
    • Finding doctors who perform abortions is not always easy. You can try searching online to see if there are any doctors who offer this in your area. Some of the doctors are on the list of the German Medical Association (Bundesärztekammer). This list can be searched by postcode (in German). The counselling centres are also well networked locally and often have addresses that they can give you if you have not yet found a contact point yourself.
    • An abortion can be performed using medication or surgery. We discuss possible methods and the abortion procedure in detail in the abortion methods section.
    • As a rule, the costs are not covered by health insurance. See cost coverage for exceptions. If you are entitled to reimbursement, you must apply to your health insurance provider before the procedure.

General information and tips

  • Information from the internet can help when considering how to proceed. However, caution is advised here, as there is a lot of disseminated misinformation. The taboo and stigma surrounding abortion favours the creation of many myths.
  • A counselling centre can be consulted in any case, even if a decision has not yet been made. Professional support in the decision-making process can be relieving and the counselling centres are there for precisely this purpose.
  • The right support from your personal environment can be a great help. Unwanted pregnancies are not uncommon and should not be a taboo subject.
  • If you are having a medication abortion, the free MedAbb app can be a useful companion and provide answers to any questions you may have during this time. For example: What do I do if I have nausea? What do I do if I have pain? How heavy can the bleeding be? The app is available in the Apple Store and on Google Play.

Cost coverage

In Germany, health insurance companies only cover the costs of the necessary preliminary and follow-up examinations (including medical counselling beforehand and treatment of possible complications). Whether the costs for the actual procedure are covered, however, depends on the indication and health insurance company.

The public health insurances cover the total costs of abortions for medical and criminological indications. In the case of private health insurance companies, you should enquire directly with the companies, as many only cover the costs if there is a medical indication. In the case of abortions performed under the counselling scheme (96% of all abortions), the costs are not covered by any health insurance company and must be paid by the pregnant woman herself.

However, if you have a low net income (currently up to €1258, as of 10/2021), you can apply to have the costs covered. The application must be submitted to a statutory health insurance fund and must have been applied for and approved before the procedure in order to be valid. The health insurance company will ask for proof of your current financial situation, but not for the reasons for the abortion.

It is difficult to give generalised information on how much an abortion costs. The costs vary depending on the method (medication, surgery) or anaesthesia (local anaesthetic, general anaesthetic). According to pro familia, you can expect to pay between €200 and €570, and according to the BZgA between €350 and €600.

You can obtain the latest information on cost coverage from the state-qualified counselling centres and directly from the health insurance companies.

Scroll to top