Abortion in Hungary

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Abortion in Hungary was subject to legal liberalization as early as 1953.[1] The abortion law was changed three times since then, in 1956,[1] 1973,[2] and 1992.[3] As a result of that Hungary has a liberal abortion law.[3] While women must get the approval of a committee before having an abortion, a number of various hypothetical situations have been placed into the law allowing an abortion, so the request has become a mere formality.[1]

Hungary is influenced by Roman Catholicism, and, although abortion is legal, it is not easy to access: women must go through a specific procedure involving counseling, a waiting period, and a certificate from a midwife in order to obtain an abortion.[4]

Politics[edit]

Abortion is regulated under the Law on the Protection of the Foetus, 1992.[5] Under this law, an abortion is normally allowed until 12 weeks. However, in certain circumstances the limit can be extended to 18, 20 or 24 weeks. A pregnancy may be terminated at any time if the fetus is lethally afflicted (ie. anencephaly). There is mandatory counseling and a 3 days waiting period.

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.[1] 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".[2]

The Hungarian Government organized a pro-life campaign in 2011 where posters were shown with an image of a baby in the womb, with the caption saying, “I understand that you are not yet ready for me, but give me up to the adoption agency, LET ME LIVE!” The Government has been sharply criticised for using European Union funds on the campaign. An EU Commissioner Viviane Reding said that the campaign “goes against European values.”[6]

The new constitution of Hungary, enacted in 2012, states that human life will be protected from the moment of conception,[7] although, so far, the abortion law has not been changed.[8]

Between 2010 and 2015 the number of reported abortions per year dropped by 22.9 per cent, which was attributed to the introduction of pro-family measures by the Hungarian Government. Adoption is promoted by the state where women do not want to keep their baby. There are also educational classes and aid to families.[9][10]

Statistics[edit]

Source: Statistics of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office[11]
Year Number of reported abortions Induced abortion ratio per 100 live birth
1950 1,707 0.9
1951 1,700 1.0
1952 1,700 1.1
1953 2,800 1.0
1954 16,300 7.2
1955 35,398 16.8
1956 82,463 42.8
1957 123,383 73.8
1958 145,578 91.9
1959 152,404 100.8
1960 162,160 110.7
1961 169,992 121.1
1962 163,656 125.8
1963 173,835 131.4
1964 184,367 139.5
1965 180,269 135.5
1966 186,773 134.9
1967 187,527 126.0
1968 201,096 130.2
1969 206,817 134.0
1970 192,283 126.7
1971 187,425 124.4
1972 179,035 116.8
1973 169,650 108.6
1974 102,022 54.8
1975 96,212 49.5
1976 94,720 51.1
1977 89,096 50.2
1978 83,545 49.7
1979 80,767 50.4
1980 80,882 54.4
1981 78,421 54.9
1982 78,682 58.9
1983 78,599 61.8
1984 82,191 65.6
1985 81,970 63.0
1986 83,586 65.2
1987 84,547 67.2
1988 87,106 70.1
1989 90,508 73.4
1990 90,394 71.9
1991 89,931 70.7
1992 87,065 71.5
1993 75,258 64.3
1994 74,491 64.4
1995 76,957 68.7
1996 76,600 72.8
1997 74,564 74.3
1998 68,971 70.9
1999 65,981 69.7
2000 59,249 60.7
2001 56,404 58.1
2002 56,075 57.9
2003 53,789 56.8
2004 52,539 55.2
2005 48,689 49.9
2006 46,324 46.4
2007 43,870 44.9
2008 44,089 44.5
2009 43,181 44.8
2010 40,449 44.8
2011 38,443 43.7
2012 36,118 40.0
2013 34,891 39.3
2014 32,663 35.7
2015 31,176 34.0
2016 30,439 32.7
2017 28,496 31.1
2018 26,900 30.0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hungary - ABORTION POLICY - United Nations
  2. ^ a b Központi Statisztikai Hivatal (Hungarian Central Statistical Office): Demográfiai évkönyv 2005 (Demographic Yearbook 2005). KSH, Budapest, 2006. (ISSN 0237-7594)
  3. ^ a b New York Times: Hungarian Parliament Approves Relatively Liberal Abortion Law
  4. ^ https://www.womenonwaves.org/en/page/4785/abortion-law-hungary
  5. ^ https://srhr.org/abortion-policies/documents/countries/01-Hungary-Protection-of-Human-Life-Act-1992.pdf
  6. ^ EURACTIV - EU funds used for Hungarian anti-abortion campaign
  7. ^ Thorpe, Nick (18 April 2011). "Hungary: Parliament votes for new constitution". BBC News Online.
  8. ^ http://index.hu/belfold/2011/03/11/az_abortuszrol_torveny_valtozasa_varhato
  9. ^ The Christian Institute - Government pro-life actions lead to drop in abortions in Hungary
  10. ^ Origo.hu - Sokkal kevesebb az abortusz Magyarországon
  11. ^ Population