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Hungarian women must listen to the fetus's heartbeat before abortion |  Abroad

Hungarian women must listen to the fetus’s heartbeat before abortion | Abroad

Hungary tightened abortion rules. Pregnant women who want an abortion in Hungary must first be confronted by their doctor with the vital functions (eg, heartbeat) of the fetus. This was stated in a decree published on Monday evening.

Abortion has been legal in Hungary since 1953. Under current law, abortion is allowed for up to 12 weeks, and in certain circumstances the procedure can be extended to 24 weeks.

Under the government of conservative right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban, anti-abortion rhetoric has increased in recent years. The new decree, which will go into effect on Thursday, September 15, states that a doctor must confront women who want an abortion with the vital functions of their fetus.

An alarming step back

The far-right Mi Hazank party praised the new measure. “The mother will hear the fetus for at least a few seconds before the abortion is performed,” Representative Dora Douro said on Facebook.

Human rights organization Amnesty International speaks of a “worrying step backwards”. The organization fears that the measure will “make access to legal and safe abortion more difficult”. “It will only further traumatize women who are already in a difficult situation.”

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