Hungary disavowed by the European Parliament after a law on access to abortion

Hungary disavowed by the European Parliament after a law on access to abortion

Hungary disavowed by the European Parliament after a law on access to abortion

Since Thursday, a decree obliges Hungarian women who wish to have an abortion to listen to the beats of fetal heart.

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Transfer of arms to Strasbourg. On Thursday 15 September the European Parliament harshly criticized Hungary, calling the country a “hybrid regime of electoral autocracy”. Harsh terms that follow a series of controversial laws wanted by the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, and his powerful far-right party, Fidesz. Latest controversy to date: a decree that entered into force on Thursday obliges women who wish to have an abortion to listen to the beats of heart of foetus before continuing, or not, their abortion.

MEPs adopted by an overwhelming majority (433 votes in favor, 123 against, 28 abstentions) a report presented by the French ecologist Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield. This text marks Parliament’s concern on 12 issues, such as the independence of justice, freedom of expression or the autonomy of academics – which are not respected, indeed threatened in Hungary, the parliamentarians judge.

On Twitter, MEP Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield welcomed the adoption of its report on the rule of law in Hungary. “The conclusions are clear: one of our member states is no longer a democracy”, she said. During the session, the elected official had chastised the spying of journalists, a “infamous law” against LGBT + people but also the recent tightening of abortion conditions.

The decree that obliges the presentation of pregnant women “the vital functions of the fetus” – as they officially say – has aroused the ire of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). “This obligation has no medical use and only serves to humiliate women”the organization said in a statement Thursday.

In 2018, the European Parliament initiated a proceeding against Hungary for “risk of serious violation of European values” – with reference to Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union – which can in principle lead to deprive the country of his right to vote in the Council. Access to abortion remains fragile in Europe, with growing fears in Hungary but also in Poland and Slovakia.

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