Beginning Thursday, women seeking an abortion in Hungary will listen to their baby’s heartbeat before they proceed with having an abortion as a new amendment comes into effect.
On Monday this week, an amendment supported by the country’s interior minister, Pintér Sándor, was passed, which requires doctors to record that the pregnant woman was presented “with the factor indicating the functioning vital functions in a clearly identifiable manner”.
Politician Dora Duro welcomed the decree, calling it a step towards “protecting all fetuses from conception” and said it was a “chance for life” on her Facebook page.
A spokesperson for Amnesty International, Aron Demeter, said this move was “a worrying step back”.
In 2012, Hungary adopted a new constitution that said “the life of the fetus is protected from conception”, though it stopped short of outlawing abortion.
In 2019, Hungarian Prime Minister, Victor Orban, announced that women with four children would be exempt from paying income tax for life.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “This is an excellent amendment that will hopefully reduce the number of abortions in Hungary. Presumably, it is designed to help mothers see that abortion providers are ending the life of their own son or daughter in an abortion, and give them a chance to think about whether that is something they really want to do.
“Listening to a baby’s heartbeat makes the full humanity of the unborn baby clear for all to hear. The narrative that women need abortion is extremely degrading to women. It tells women they should be afraid, that they cannot cope with the challenge of a new baby in unexpected and often difficult circumstances.”