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Pro-government authors defend the new abortion decree

September 16th, 2022

In their first comments on the new decree making abortion conditional on ‘being shown vital foetal signs’, the two nationwide pro-government dailies dismiss as groundless the misgivings voiced by critics of the measure. (For the antecedents, see BudaPost, September 15.)

In Magyar Nemzet, Tamás Pilhál deplores the fact that, although the Hungarian constitution clearly states that ‘the life of the foetus is entitled to protection from the moment of conception’, 30,000 abortions are performed each year. (From 90 thousand in 1990, the number of abortions in Hungary gradually fell to 23 thousand last year.) He calls the decree which compels women to listen to the heartbeat of their foetuses before confirming their decision to terminate their pregnancies, a salutary move – ‘a ray of hope’ that perhaps a few foetal lives can be saved.

In Magyar Hírlap, Dániel Galsai rejects the accusation voiced by feminist activists who maintain that the new procedure only aims at humiliating women, and have demanded that the authorities ‘get off our wombs’. Nobody intends to restrict abortion or to ‘tinker with female bodies’ as critics have claimed, he argues. Galsai sees the new provision as just giving the unborn an extra chance to survive.