Before getting abortion, Hungarian women will be forced to listen to their foetus’ heartbeat
Women seeking abortions in Hungary must first listen to the “foetal heartbeat” before proceeding with the surgery, as the country’s abortion rules tighten.
In order to give pregnant mothers “more complete knowledge,” it was claimed that contemporary technology may detect heartbeats early in pregnancy.
The decree states that before performing an abortion, healthcare practitioners must present pregnant women with “clearly recognisable evidence of foetal vital signs.”
According to a statement from Hungary’s Interior Ministry, “almost two-thirds of Hungarians link the beginning of a child’s existence with the first heartbeat.”
Aron Demeter, from Amnesty International Hungary, said the decree was a “very alarming step back” which “basically puts women, already in a difficult position, into a more difficult position”.
He told Sky News: “The only ‘achievement’ of this amendment will be that people trying to access abortions will be more traumatised and more stressed.”
Mr Demeter stated that the organisation was appealing for the amendment to be repealed, adding, “It is not about providing women with knowledge to make educated decisions, but rather about putting pressure on them not to access abortion, which is obviously a violation of their human rights.”
Despite having a nationalist administration that positions itself as a defender of traditional family values, Hungary has comparatively liberal abortion regulations.
Since the practise was legalised during the country’s socialist regime in 1953, abortion rules have remained essentially unaltered.
In an effort to increase the country’s decreasing fertility rate, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s administration has granted large tax advantages and subsidies to couples with several children.
It has also incorporated in its 2011 constitution that “the life of a foetus will be safeguarded from conception,” while it has not yet taken substantial moves to tighten the country’s abortion laws.