Abortion in Hungary was allowed without exception as early as 1953. Expansion of the abortion laws in 1956, 1973 and 1992 have given Hungary a reputation of having one of the most liberal abortion laws in Europe. While women have to seek the approval of a committee before having an abortion, a number of various hypothetical situations have been placed into the law allowing for an abortion so the request has become a mere formality.
Abortion cannot be denied by a committee if the woman's pregnancy has not exceeded twelve weeks and poses a "grave crisis situation" for the mother. In 1998, the country's highest court demanded that a definition be supplied for the term "grave crisis situation," as there were concerns that women undergoing the procedure may not actually be in "crisis," and if they were, that they get psychiatric help after their abortion. On June 29, 2000, the Ministry of Health defined a "grave crisis situation" as "when it causes bodily or mental impairment, or a socially intolerable situation."
The new constitution of Hungary, enacted in 2011, states that the human life will be protected from the moment of conception, which could lead the way to abortion restrictions, although so far the abortion law has not changed.
As of 2010[update], the abortion rate was 19.4 abortions per 1000 women aged 15-44 years.