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Ethnic Hungarian abortion rate high in Slovakia

June 29th, 2013

The Bratislava-based Hungarian daily warns that the relatively high abortion figures in the southern districts of Slovakia may indicate a deep moral crisis among ethnic Hungarians.

In Új Szó, the left-leaning Bratislava Hungarian daily, Szabolcs Mózes describes as alarming the fact that the Hungarian inhabited districts . “Does anybody care for the reasons? Or we just don’t mind?”, he asks.

Abortion figures in Slovakia have been steadily declining: from over 50 thousand in 1990 to less than 9 thousand last year, the main reason being the .

This represents 19 abortions per 100 live births in Slovakia as a whole, but the figure is much higher in southern regions of the country where most ethnic Hungarians live: 22-57 per 100 births. This figure is much closer to the current Hungarian figure of 40 abortions per 100 births. Hungary also reports a consistent decline in abortions: from 200 thousand in 1969 to 90 thousand in 1990 and 36 thousand last year.

Mózes points out that the number of ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia has been decreasing for decades (from over 500 thousand in 2011 to just over 450 thousand in 2011), and that this is also due to a steady process of assimilation. But “we fail to notice that our community is shrinking first of all because of its low birth rate”. He asks whether the consistent gap between the birth rates in northern Slovakia and the southern strip, inhabited by Hungarians, is actually due to higher unemployment and lower wages, as is often suggested. He personally believes that the main reason must be “a loss of values”.  He ends his comment on a sombre note: “A society that thinks it can be happy and prosper without children, is doomed to extinction. Is that our fate?”

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