Hungary Tightens Abortion Rules

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According to a decree published in the Hungarian Gazette (Magyar Közlöny), Hungarians women seeking an abortion will have to listen to their fetus' heartbeat before they could go ahead with the medical procedure, news site 24.hu writes.

The new regulation is set to come into force on September 15.

The Ministry of the Interior explained the change in regulation by saying that research shows that almost two-thirds of Hungarians associate the beginning of life with the first heartbeat. 

Making abortion conditional on listening to the fetal heartbeat, has long been demanded by Dóra Dúró, MP of the far-right Mi Hazánk (Our Homeland) party, who says that this is not a tightening of rule, but only a provision of additional information.

She says it is unacceptable to use abortion as contraception, writing on Facebook that the government had actually adopted her party's proposal. 

The feminist Patent Association has announced on its Facebook page that it is organizing a protest against the abortion bill.

"The only real motivation for the current move is misogyny. No life will be saved by forcing a woman who chooses abortion to listen to the fetal heartbeat," they wrote.

The protest is being organized for September 28, International Safe Abortion Day.

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