One of the coalition parties in the Hungarian government is introducing an amendment to Hungary’s budget for 2012 that would delete the amount set aside for subsidizing abortions. We are seeking signatures by organizations to the attached letter until Saturday 10th December and will submit the letter on Monday.

If you wish to sign the letter, please send your name, position and organizational affiliation to the following two addresses by 24:00 (Central European Time) Saturday 10th December 2011:

gkuszing@netstudio.hu
kapronczay.stefania@tasz.hu

We will also prepare a press release on this letter, and your name, position and organization may appear in it.

Best regards,
Gábor Kuszing, Patent Association, http://www.patent.org.hu<http://www.patent.org.hu/>
Stefánia Kapronczay, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, http://www.tasz.hu<http://www.tasz.hu>

 

The letter:

 

To: Orbán Viktor

Subject: Stop Budget Cut on Abortion

Dear Mr Prime Minister Orbán Viktor,

We are writing to express our concern that two Hungarian MPs of your coalition partner KDNP have introduced an amendment to the bill on Hungary’s 2012 budget to delete the 400 million forints (1.374 million euros) originally planned to support the medical bills of women who cannot afford to pay for an abortion. Currently the mandatory health insurance covers only the cost of abortions carried out on health-related grounds. If the pregnancy is the result of a crime or if the abortion is requested for other, legal, reasons, the price has to be covered by the woman herself. However she can ask for a reduction or waiver based on her socioeconomic situation. It is this option that your colleagues at KDNP want to abolish.

Studies cited by the Guttmacher Institute—a highly respected think tank relied upon by both sides of the abortion debate—indicate that restricting poor girls’ and women’s access to abortion results in women carrying unwanted pregnancies to term against their will. This should not happen if abortion is legal in a country. Research shows also that even the poor women who manage to scrape the money together do so at a cost: they use money they would otherwise spend on utility bills, food and clothing for themselves and their children, they pawn necessary household item and and are forced to wait 2 to 3 weeks longer than those women who find themselves in a more advantaged financial situation. This results in more complicated, later abortions, and some women will undoubtedly miss the deadline for a legal abortion altogether.

Deleting this amount from next year’s budget will deprive the poorest and most vulnerable of women and adolescents from the ability to exercise some control over their fertility. Thus the proposed measure would have a clear discriminatory effect, targeting those who are already in a disadvantaged position in society and making it even harder for them to regain control over their lives. Our sources in the Hungarian medical profession claim that much of this funding covers the abortion costs of teenage girls who live in poverty or in children’s homes, and of other women who are so poor that the cost of an abortion (29,710 forints or 102 euros) constitutes a major barrier in their access to legal reproductive health services. These girls and women could easily lose their chance to access education; their ability to raise their already existing children could be negatively affected if they were to give birth to another child; and they could be exposed to an even deeper level of poverty.

We would like to remind the Hungarian government of its obligations under human rights law, for example, under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). These treaties and their respective monitoring bodies specify that practices that discriminate against women and girls and barriers to health care must be removed in order for Hungary to live up to its international obligations. Any steps that worsen the situation for women and girls in their access to reproductive health care and that increase discrimination shall be seen as retrogressive and are as such prohibited under international human rights law.

For the above-mentioned reasons we request you to stop this amendment by speaking up against it and by instructing members of your party to vote against it.

Respectfully yours,

XY

Advertisements

Another example that the term”protection of the family” is just an euphemism for “protection of patriachy”

 

The bill on family protection was submitted to the Parliament on Friday (http://www.parlament.hu/irom39/05128/05128.pdf). It was submitted by four Chirstian Democratic MPs and not the government. This way they could submit the bill without any social consultation about it. Also, the bill was submitted on Friday, and Monday morning the relevant Parliamentary committee decided to debate the bill the same day in the afternoon, giving no time for MPs or civil society organizations to go through it thoroughly.

 

The bill contains the following definition of family:

 

“Art 7. (1) When applying this law family shall mean the relationship between natural persons in an economic and emotional community that is based on a marriage between a woman and a man, or lineal descent, or family-based guardianship.

(2) Lineal descent is established by way of filiation or adoption.”

 

The law reiterates that the life of the fetus starts with the moment of conception, that preparing for family life should be part of school curriculum, and that media services should broadcast programs that respect the institution of marriage and family.

 

May 5, 2011, 4:41 PM CET

By Veronika Gulyas

Nemzeti Erőforrás Minisztérium. The advertisement says: “(I understand if you aren’t ready for me) …but rather put me up for adoption, LET ME LIVE!”

The Hungarian government will start an ad campaign against abortion, hoping to reduce the numbers of legal abortions through persuasion rather than a ban.

The Hungarian ad campaign, partly financed by the EU, will run for two months and show a picture of a fetus with the words, “I understand it if you aren’t ready for me, but rather put me up for adoption, let me live!”

Hungary’s new constitution, adopted in April and reflecting Christian-conservative values, says that “life is protected from conception.” A similar provision, along with an explanatory bill, limits legal abortions in Poland to only a few medical and criminal situations.

The ruling party has repeatedly said that a ban on abortion in Hungary wasn’t an option. But nongovernmental organizations, like the Hungarian Civil Liberties’ Union, said the new constitution opens the way to a future change of the law.

“The Hungarian society isn’t ready for what, say, the Polish is — namely that abortion be banned in the country,” said Miklos Soltesz, the state secretary responsible for social and family policy within the National Resources Ministry.

The number of abortions has been on the decline since 2009. It dropped to 43,181 in 2009, according to latest available data by Hungary’s central statistics office, from 44,089 in 2008. It was at 65,981 in 1999. The number of teenage abortions has decreased the most.

The government’s ad campaign plan isn’t without critics.

“[The campaign] is absolutely outrageous,” said Julia Spronz, a lawyer and member of the nongovernmental umbrella organization Hungarian Women’s Lobby. “This is clearly a move backward to medieval times. The money spent on this campaign could rather be spent on subsidizing contraceptives.”

“[The campaign] indicates the government’s double-talk on the issue: They said they had no intention to amend the current legislation because the society isn’t ready to ban abortion; but they nevertheless explain that this is murder,” Ms. Spronz said.

The World Health Organization and Guttmacher Institute said in a February study that overall abortion rates around the world are similar regardless of whether abortion is legal in a given jurisdiction. Countries with strict anti-abortion laws have developed black markets for abortion. The abortion rate — the number of abortions per 100 childbirths — is 29 in Africa, where abortion is illegal in most countries, and 28 in Europe, where abortion is generally permitted on broad grounds. The lowest rates in the world are in western and northern Europe, where abortion is accessible with few restrictions, the study said.

The Hungarian Parliament adopted yesterday the new constitution. The document was adopted despite criticism by the EU and even the UN about the lack of sufficient checks and balances between the executive and legislative powers.The constitution will be signed by the president Pal Schmitt on the 25th of April (1st anniversary of election that enabled the rulling right-wing party FIDESZ to change the constitution), and will come to the force on the 1st of January 2012.

Yesterday FIDESZ and Christian Democratic deputies voted in favour of passing the new law in the 262-to-44 vote, while radical nationalist Jobbik voted against. The decision by the main opposition Socialists and liberal parties to boycott the vote reflected the controversy not just over the contents of the Constitution, but also the way it was drafted and the political polarization that has continued ever since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990 and its satellites moved toward democracy. For FIDESZ on the other hand, the Constitution is to represent a break with Hungary’s communist past.

The new constitution appears to be a eulogy to Hungary’s Christian roots and past greatness.In the constitution’s preamble, the title “The Basic Law of Hungary” is followed by the subtitle “God Bless Hungarians,” the first sentence of the Hungarian anthem and a reference to the many Hungarians who became citizens of neighbouring countries following the collapse of the Habsburg Empire. “Motivated by the ideal of a unified Hungarian nation, Hungary shall bear a sense of responsibility for the destiny of Hungarians living outside her borders, shall promote their survival and development, and will continue to support their efforts to preserve their Hungarian culture, and foster their cooperation with each other and with Hungary,” reads Article D of the constitution.

Although one of the most disputed provisions curbs the powers of the constitutional court on budget and tax matters and allows the president to dissolve Parliament if a budget is not approved, the new provisions regarding protection of foetus from the moment of conception and defining family as a union between man and woman are equally alarming. The new constitution establishes the base for restricting abortion as it states: “Human dignity is inviolable. Everyone has the right to life and human dignity. The life of a foetus will be protected from conception.” Article M of the constitution reads that “Hungary protects the institution of marriage between man and woman, a matrimonial relationship voluntarily established, as well as the family as the basis for the survival of the nation”.

http://www.womenlobby.org/spip.php?article1371&lang=en

 

Send a letter today to the Hungarian Government ensure that the new Hungarian Constitution does not limit women’s reproductive rights or discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity!

Hungary is reviewing its Constitution. The EWL and its Hungarian members are concerned that the draft text for the Constitution – to be finalised by 25 April – contains provisions on that might result in violations of women’s sexual and reproductive rights and health and to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The language used in the draft Constitution regarding the right to life does not correspond to that used in international and European human rights instruments – to which Hungary is also party – and appears to unconditionally prohibit abortion, thereby probably leading to a tightening of legislation on abortion. The draft Constitution also gives a very conservative vision of marriage and family, thereby discriminating against new forms of couples and families, and not reflecting the society we live in.

It is unacceptable that in the 21st Century, a European country includes in its Constitution a provision which directly endangers women’s lives and families and allows for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Support our efforts to ensure that the Hungarian Constitution is a forward-looking document that protects and promotes the rights of all women.

Copy the text below or download the model letter and write to PM Viktor Orbán at:

You can copy:

Thank you for your support!

 

 

Your Excellency,

I write to express my concern that the draft text for the new Constitution of Hungary – to be finalised by 25 April – contains provisions on that might result in violations of women’s sexual and reproductive rights and health and to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The language used in the draft Constitution regarding the right to life does not correspond to that used in international and European human rights instruments – to which Hungary is also party – and appears to unconditionally prohibit abortion, thereby probably leading to a tightening of legislation on abortion. The draft Constitution also gives a very conservative vision of marriage and family, thereby discriminating against new forms of couples and families, and not reflecting the society we live in. It is unacceptable that in the 21st Century, a European country includes in its Constitution a provision which directly endangers women’s lives and families and allows for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. I trust that you will do your best to ensure that the Hungarian Constitution is a forward-looking document, taking the lead in promoting women’s rights and gender equality and non-discrimination for all women and men living in Hungary.

Sincerely yours,

 

 

 

The number of newborn babies in Hungary fell 6.3% to 90,350 last year, according to official data. The government is determined to boost this number and put Hungary ’s population back above 10 million. Contrary to original proposal, the new Hungarian constitution won’t ban abortion. Still, the country’s government wants to see more children and will use other means than a constitutional ban on abortion to achieve it. It has so far cut income taxes for parents and extended maternity leave to three years from two. It plans more places at kindergartens and considers granting extra voting rights to parents.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Veronika Gulyas

More:http://blogs.wsj.com/new-europe/2011/02/25/hungary-wants-more-children-but-wont-ban-abortion/?mod=google_news_blog%20%3Cp%3E

 

In a draft of the country’s new constitution Hungary´s ruling party said “that life must be protected from the beginning”. Due to this position Hungary might be the next European country to ban abortion.

Hungary legalized abortion in 1956 and improved the law in 1992. Since the introduction of the liberal abortion law in 1992, abortion was available on request during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to preserve women´s mental and physical health as well as in cases of rape or incest and foetal impairment. In addition, the law allowed abortions later in pregnancy for health reasons, for reasons of foetal defect and for cases in which the pregnancy was the result of a criminal act.

But things could change easily now. The ruling party in Hungary has the two-third majority in parliament and therefore  the power to criminalize abortion. The Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán is known to be right-wing and pro-catholic.

Earlier in December Pope Benedickt told the Hungarian ambassador it was ““desirable that the new constitution be inspired by Christian values, particularly in what concerns the position of marriage and the family in society and the protection of life.”

It really looks like Hungary is heading into the same direction as Poland were abortion is illegal since the 1990´s with  devastating consequences for women. Many women especially the poor ones often risk their lives because of unsafe abortions performed under adverse conditions.