February 25, 2008


German Politician Blames Communism for Child Killings (Der Spiegel, 2/25/08)

Wolfgang Böhmer, governor of the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt, faces opposition calls to resign after he said women in the east had "a more casual approach to new life" than in the west.

Böhmer, who trained as a gynaecologist, was responding to research showing that the risk of a baby being killed by its mother is three to four times higher in the east than it is in the west of Germany.

Barely a month goes by in Germany without media reports of infanticide.

Is it really fruitful to argue about which sectors of pst-Christian Europe are the most anti-human?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 25, 2008 12:26 PM

Well, we do have much stricter abortion laws than the US, and a much lower abortion rate.

Posted by: Ralf Goergens at February 25, 2008 12:48 PM

What is the economy of E Germany like? How hard is it to get a hold of birth control? How hard is it to get a first trimester abortion? That Boehmer idiot sounds like the holy rollers - male, at that - who make women's lives nightmares in the US.

Posted by: Xtina at February 25, 2008 2:27 PM

Xtina: women's lives in the USA are nightmares? American women are worse off than the victims of gang rape in the former Yugoslavia? Or Darfur? A woman's lot in life is worse here than in Saudi Arabia? It's a "nightmare" to live in the country that made Condoleeza Rice the most powerful woman of color ever to stride the earth?

Hyperbole is occasionally useful, but in this instance it rather undermines whatever point you're trying to make.

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 25, 2008 3:12 PM

I just love pointing out to pro-choicers that the German constitution has an explicit right to "human dignity," front and center (Article I, paragraph 1), and that the German constitutional court has repeatedly construed that clause to obligate the government to protect the lives of the unborn.

Of course, that clause has its downsides or potential for abuse, too: The right to human dignity also required invalidation of a 2005 law authorizing the army to shoot down civilian airliners in the event of a terrorist attack. You know, like Dick Cheney had zero hesitation authorizing our armed forces to do on 9/11, and as would have happened but for the heroism of the passengers on United flight 93.

I'm going to miss Dick Cheney.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at February 25, 2008 4:25 PM

Rectification of names time:

"Pro-choicers?" One supposes that is something like, "I personally wouldn't gas Jews, but I'm in favor of Heinrich Himmler's right to choose."

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 25, 2008 5:40 PM

Reported abortion rate.

Posted by: oj at February 25, 2008 6:09 PM

The American nightmare always descends on Europe.

Posted by: oj at February 25, 2008 6:10 PM
Reported abortion rate.

Not the kind of argument that you should be making if you want stricter abortion laws: You are suggesting that restrictions would simply lead to women having abortion secretly. :)

Posted by: Ralf Goergens at February 26, 2008 11:33 AM

No. I'm saying that Germany has notoriously low reporting rates.

Posted by: oj at February 26, 2008 3:19 PM
No. I'm saying that Germany has notoriously low reporting rates.

Unless you can name me some good sources for that claim I'll have to assume that you are just jealous.


Posted by: Ralf Goergens at February 26, 2008 3:48 PM

You can find plenty if you search for germany abortion reporting rates, no one thinks they report adequately. Here's one:


Posted by: oj at February 26, 2008 9:21 PM

Yes, but changed in 1995. The problem seems to have been former East Germany from your source):

*†Reporting improved after 1995. Data are shown only for the unified Germany.


**Disregarding the increase in Germany's abortion rate in 1996, which resulted in part from more complete reporting.

Not just reporting for East Germany was different from that from West Germany, but also the available medical technology. That's why it took some years to cosolidate the abortion rate in a way that wouldn't distort the results.

Posted by: Ralf Goergens at February 27, 2008 8:57 AM

In any case, Böhmer is talking about East Germany when he says: "Some came to us in the hospital and just said with a grin 'get rid of it' because they had booked a vacation on the Black Sea coast. That attitude to life has influenced today's attitude. I have the impression that child killings -- and there always been -- are a means of family planning."

Posted by: wf at March 3, 2008 9:23 AM