Any woman intending to have an abortion in Hungary must first have received all the information about her baby’s vital signs, including listening to the heartbeat. The new norm is established by a decree of Sandor Pinter, Minister of the Interior; It was published on Monday, September 12 and will take effect this Friday, September 15.
The text determines that, to have an abortion, the applicant must submit a report from an obstetrician-gynecologist where it ensures that she showed “the vital signs of the fetus to the pregnant woman, in a clearly identifiable way.”
Abortion was legalized in Hungary in 1953, and in 1992 a “protection of the life of the fetus” law limited its free access until the 12th week, and in certain circumstances, the limit can be extended to 18, 20 or 24 weeks.
With the arrival of Fidesz to power in 2010, due to the implementation of a robust policy to strengthen families and government campaigns against abortion, the number of cases has been falling progressively: from 40,449 in 2010 to 21,907 last year. The country has almost 10 million inhabitants.
The government decree is added to the current containment measures for abortion: 72-hour wait, comprehensive information, mandatory counseling in the Family Protection Service, and there is no official financial aid for the practice.
The Hungarian government’s movement is in line with the initiatives to “make visible” the humanity of the fetus, which are promoted in various countries, especially in the United States with the “Heartbeat” laws. The paramount importance of highlighting the humanity of the unborn baby was one of the topics addressed at the IV Transatlantic Summit held in May of this year in Budapest by the Political Network for Values.