In the early 1970s, demands to reform Paragraph 218, which criminalized all forms of abortion, emerged as the core issue in the women’s movement. The SPD-FDP coalition proposed a law allowing abortions during the first three months of pregnancy, but it was controversial and adamantly rejected by the churches and the CDU/CSU. The law passed in the Bundestag and Bundesrat in spring 1974, but never went into effect; the following year it was declared unconstitutional by the Federal Constitutional Court.

On July 1, 1975, members of the Frankfurt Women’s Center organized a group trip to the Netherlands, where abortion was legal. The group’s caravan included numerous buses and cars that were decorated with signs and banners such as the one featured below, which demands: “Set up abortion clinics here.” Other slogans included: “Women helping women,” “We want children who are wanted,” and “Together in this bus, no fear in us.”

“Set up Abortion Clinics Here” (July 1, 1975)

  • Abisag Tüllmann


Source: The women of the Frankfurt Women’s Center organize a trip to the Netherlands, where abortion was legal, July 1975. Photo: Abisag Tüllmann.
bpk-Bildagentur, image number 30004347. For rights inquiries, please contact Art Resource at requests@artres.com (North America) or bpk-Bildagentur at kontakt@bpk-bildagentur.de (for all other countries).

© bpk / Abisag Tüllmann