German Conservatives Call for Pregnant Sex Work Ban

Sex workers in Berlin
Sex workers walk in a street of Berlin's central Mitte district July 22, 2009. There is debate over how planned changes to Germany's sex work laws should apply to pregnant women. Thomas Peter/Reuters

Conservatives in Germany are calling for a new law on prostitution to ban heavily pregnant women from being sex workers.

Mooted changes to the country’s regulation governing sex workers already propose preventing women less than six weeks from their due date from getting certificates to work in the sex trade.

But Paul Lehrieder, an MP for the right-wing Christian Social Union (CSU), which partners with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said he wants to extend this time limit and introduce a ban on heavily pregnant women from working as sex workers.

"We believe that we must not only protect the dignity of women better, but also the unborn child," Lehrieder told Die Welt.

Wolfgang Heide, a gynecologist, told the paper that there is a specific market for pregnant sex workers, for which men are often willing to pay extra. "I appeal to the courage of the deputies to remove pregnant women from prostitution," he said.

Sex work is legal in Germany, but it is regulated under a 2002 law, changes to which have been in the pipeline since 2013. Central to the proposed changes is a requirement for all people wishing to work as sex workers to register with the authorities.