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BUDAPEST (LifeSiteNews) Hungary’s government has issued a decree that requires doctors to show women seeking an abortion “the factors indicating the presence of the vital functions of the embryo.” According to reports, this means that women would have to listen to the sound of the heartbeat of the unborn baby. 

In a statement on Monday, September 12, the Ministry of Interior said that “nearly two-thirds of Hungarians associate the beginning of a child’s life with the first heartbeat,” and that modern equipment can help provide relevant information for pregnant women by detecting the heartbeat early in pregnancy. The new regulation is set to take effect on September 15. 

Seeing the vital life signs of an unborn baby has in the past changed the minds of mothers who were seeking an abortion. A recent example of this is a woman in Texas who chose not to have an abortion after seeing her twins on ultrasound. 

READ: Hungary’s birth rate highest in nearly three decades thanks to Viktor Orbán’s pro-family policies

Hungary’s government, led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has put forward many pro-family laws, such as tax breaks and subsidies for families that have multiple children. The government also enshrined the protection of the unborn in the Hungarian constitution in 2011, which says “the life of a fetus will be protected from conception.

However, even after the new constitution promised the protection of unborn life, Hungary’s abortion laws had not been changed until now. Abortion is generally legal up to the 12th week of pregnancy and in some cases even up to the 24th week  

A member of the right-wing opposition party Our Homeland Movement took credit for the idea in a Facebook post, claiming that the government adopted their policy proposal. She called it “the first pro-life move since the regulation of abortion in 1956.”

The number of abortions carried out every year in the country has been declining since Victor Orban’s Fidesz Party took power in 2010. However, approximately 22,000 unborn children were still killed by abortion in Hungary in 2021.  

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