Heartbeat decree: Hungary tightens abortion rules

Hungary has introduced a new requirement for abortions: pregnant women must now first listen to the heartbeat of their embryo before applying for an abortion with a gynaecologist. This step is meant to "unequivocally draw their attention to the presence of the embryo's vital functions". Both sharp criticism and applause for the measure can be found in Hungary's media.

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Népszava (HU) /

Emotional blackmail

Népszava sees the new rule as degrading and pointless:

“Setting this as a condition for initiating an abortion procedure is extremely humiliating emotional blackmail and an unreasonable sham. ... A bonding experience does not resolve the crisis situation that led to the possibility of abortion being considered in the first place. The sole aim of [Interior Minister] Dr Pintér's decree is to make the decision more difficult - and in the long term restore state rule over the female body.”

Magyar Nemzet (HU) /

Hope for anti-abortionists

The pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet applauds the "heartbeat decree" as a success:

“The heartbeat decree is a small victory for pro-lifers against the death cult. A faint glimmer of hope that the heartbeat may possibly move something in women. ... From now on, all pro-lifers have good reason to hope that the number of fetocides will continue to dwindle.”