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“Medical Students for Choice” Awarded 2019 Margherita von Brentano Prize

Award Ceremony at Freie Universität on Friday in Berlin / Members volunteer to promote comprehensive and holistic discussion of abortion in medical training

№ 346/2019 from Nov 15, 2019

The student initiative “Medical Students for Choice” was awarded this year’s Margherita von Brentano Prize of Freie Universität Berlin. The award ceremony took place Friday evening in Berlin. The members of this group have been volunteering for four years to draw attention to the important and socially relevant topic of abortion and the right to sexual self-determination. The Margherita von Brentano Prize, endowed with 15,000 euros, has been awarded since 1995.

Since 2015 the “Medical Students for Choice” group, consisting of a doctor and several female students, has been committed to a comprehensive and holistic approach to abortion in the study of human medicine. The Presiding Committee’s statement acknowledges the outstanding commitment “to the structured improvement of human medicine teaching in the field of gender medicine” and the advocacy for “better anchoring of the topic of abortion in medical training.” In addition, the statement emphasized the conception of innovative so-called Papaya workshops on abortion methods and information events for medical students at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Thanks to the activities of the Medical Students for Choice group, the topic has now been integrated into the curricula of medical studies.

The Margherita von Brentano Prize is awarded every two years by the university’s Executive Board to outstanding individuals and innovative projects that have rendered outstanding services to the advancement of women and/or gender studies. Previous prizewinners include the Berlin lawyer Seyran Ateş and the initiative group for the foundation of a Centre for Gender Studies in Medicine (GiM).

The prize’s eponym, Margherita von Brentano, received her doctorate under Martin Heidegger in 1948 and became a professor at the Institute of Philosophy at Freie Universität in 1971. In 1970, she was the first woman to be elected vice president of the university. Margherita von Brentano made it her concern to overcome professional discrimination against women at universities and research institutions as early as the early 1960s. She was also active in other social fields: Until her death in 1995, for example, she campaigned for the erection of a Berlin memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.


Dr. Heike Pantelmann, Managing Director, Margherita von Brentano Center, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-52482, Email: heike.pantelmann@fu-berlin.de