Hungarian Anti-Abortion Rally Commemorates 6 Million Children Lost to Abortion

Hungary is yet again on a collision course with the EU: a new abortion pill approved by the EU may soon be restricted from availability in Hungary.

This at least is what a handful of protesters urged during an anti-abortion rally held on May 23. Among the 20-30 protesters were Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, of Hungary’s Christian Democratic party, as well as prominent politicians of the extreme right party Jobbik, Előd Novák and Dóra Dúró. The platforms of both parties include banning abortions in Hungary.The pill to be introduced next month in the EU – which in other parts of the world has been in use for over 20 years – induces a process physiologically similar to miscarriage. Compared to traditional abortion procedures, it poses lesser risks to the health of the woman and reduces the likelihood of complications during later pregnancies.

The participants of the small protests, however, preferred to frame the matter in terms of the Holocaust. The protesters listened 6 bell tolls in memory of the “six million children” lost to the pill’s “philosophy of devastation, death, and destruction” (the company that developed the RU 486 operated chemical plants throughout Nazi Germany and manufactured the hydrocyanic acid used in its death camps).

“This is not a drug, but a poison pill, a weapon in the history of modern warfare against Hungarians” stated a speaker representing the Alfa coalition, the organizer of the protest. With the abortion pill, one witnesses the emergence of “fascism in hiding,” he added. The politician couple from Jobbik, Előd Novák and Dóra Dúró, whose party is openly sympathetic to Hitler’s views and recommends locking the Roma population of Hungary into fenced work camps were not pointed out as “fascism in hiding”; presumably because they were far from hiding – besides Semjén, the deputy to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, they were the most prominent politicians present at the protest.

For whom the bell tolls: according to the organizers of the protest, 6 million Hungarian children were killed by abortion in the last half century. Photo by Tamás Szémann, index.hu.

In defiance of the European Union’s policies of making the drug available in all member countries, the Hungarian government plans to ban the use of the pill, known to many as the RU 486. Although the country’s National Pharmaceutical Institute approved the drug, the Hungarian government cited “expert concerns” against its use. The Hungarian Civic Liberties Union filed a freedom of information request to obtain these expert testimonies, since the ministry in charge of health matters has thus far refused to release any expert statements that formed the basis of its decision not to allow Hungarian hospitals to administer the pill.

The closest the Hungarian government has come to explaining its opposition to the pill was in a speech given in the Hungarian parliament by member of parliament, the Christian Democrat Kálmán Nagy. He holds that the pill causes “heavy bleeding and severe psychic trauma” to women. The Christian Democratic position is that women should be shielded from any opportunity which removes the doctor from the process (this was a part of their argument, in spite of the fact that the abortion pill could only be used by Hungarian women in a clinical setting, under the medical supervision of a doctor). As far as the “severe psychic trauma” is concerned, the Christian Democratic position seems to be that the responsibility a woman must bear in choosing the abortion pill is far heavier a psychological burden than the passive withstanding of having a fetus scraped out of her uterus piece by piece by a doctor.

The governing parties as well as Jobbik draws heavily on Hungary’s declining birth rates for their political rhetoric (in the case of Jobbik, this is coupled with scare-tactics about the high birth rates among Hungary’s ethnic minorities which threatens with a loss of the homeland to non-Hungarians). Abortion debates in Hungary are thus intricately tied up with nationalistic sentiments to safeguard the Hungarian nation and its survival. As far as actual statistics are concerned, the number of abortions procedures undergone by women in Hungary is in fact steadily declining. Last year, 38,000 abortions were performed in the country’s hospitals. In 1990, over 90,000 sought an abortion in the country; the number of abortions has been under 50,000 since 2000.

Of course a government also has the option of promoting the well-being of a people by sound governance and the creation of a livable environment. While the abortion debate is back in the focus of Hungarian politics, a survey published today also shows that the number of Hungarians who wish to immigrate from Hungary is at an all-time high. On average, 1 out of 5 Hungarians plan to move outside of Hungary for long-term employment, though the number is considerably higher in the under-30 population, among whom 50% of those under 30 plans to leave Hungary either on the long run or forever. Interestingly, not even the voters of the far-right turn out to be thoroughly nationalistic when it comes to their personal choices: approximately one-third of them admitted formulating plans to move abroad.

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13 Responses to Hungarian Anti-Abortion Rally Commemorates 6 Million Children Lost to Abortion

  1. Carolyn Yohn says:

    What a conservative era the world is slipping into right now! Didn’t similar discussions just happen in the US, about banning birth control from healthcare plans? I haven’t heard of this abortion pill in the US (morning after pill, yes, but that’s not quite the same). I can’t imagine it making headway on this side of the Atlantic, either.

    • Gretchen says:

      RU-486 is available in the US. The morning-after pill has been in the news because it is a kind of ‘birth control’, not an abortifacient.

  2. David Harley says:

    The US situation is a little more complicated than that. As far as insurance goes, the core issue is whether religious organizations that have a strong doctrinal objection to contraception, such as the Catholic Church, should be obliged to provide this for women covered by health insurance, in organizations that are not primarily religious, such as schools, charities and universities. This issue also arises with fertility treatment and can prove problematic when hormones are needed for strictly medical reasons.

    As far as emergency contraception goes, the issue is whether the egg is fertilized. In general, it isn’t, and it’s not clear how often it is, if at all. However, anti-abortion groups have seized on the scientific uncertainty and insist that this is the abortion of a fertilized egg, by preventing implantation. The same issue arises with IUDs, but tha is not being raised.

    There is a great deal of fuzzy thinking (to be charitable) and distinctions get blurred. However, the objection to any form of contraception, and the prevention of nonbelievers from using the more expensive forms, uncovers something that both the fundamentalist Protestants and the Catholic bishops would have preferred not to mention.

    98% of Catholic laywomen in the US have used contraception. Abortion is one thing, but contraception is quite another. Parish priests have been content to leave this to individual conscience. Now, the bishops are insisting that their religious freedom is threatened by their being prevented from stopping female employees, of any religion or none, from using contraception. They have been doing this all along, but it wasn’t a matter of open debate.

  3. N.N. says:

    I’m so tired of this argument and so glad I’m Canadian. Listen, pork is forbidden to Jews who keep kosher, but they’re not running around pressuring supermarkets to not sell pork to non-Jews. If you’re against birth control and abortion,simple: don’t use it and don’t have one! If a woman is a faithful catholic, she won’t use it and won’t have one. Except I think the Catholic Church is not satisfied with leaving that up to individual conscience, they want control to control everyone. Freedom of religion is also freedom from having other people’s religion shoved down your throat.

    • Mishan says:

      Oh yes! What sound logic! If you’re against slavery, just don’t own a slave! If you’re against the Jewish Holocaust, just don’t participate in Jew-murdering yourself! But don’t shove YOUR religion down my throat by telling me not to own a slave or kill Jews! Lol, do you see how this logic doesn’t hold an ounce of water??? Of course there are moral, religious standards that should not be foisted upon a person or population legislatively; however, civilizations throughout ALL of time have seen fit to protect human life through law. Therefore, if another being is a human, they should be protected under law and that is what this is all about. That is what all laws are about- protecting innocent people from another person’s misguided or evil belief that they should be allowed to victimize or otherwise hurt said person. Your logic fails.

  4. N.N. says:

    Banning abortions won’t eliminate them, they will simply be relegated to back streets and illegal clinics, which is good for no one. Sadly, yes, there may be women who might view abortion as a form of contraception, but banning abortions for everyone will ultimately do WAY more harm than good. To explain this a different way, we know when going over to dangerous areas a soldier might die from “friendly fire” as well and a child in war torn areas might be shot by Canadian/American “friendly fire”. How come society accepts this all part of unfortunate “collateral damage” of peacekeeping, where is the outrage, where are picket lines? (I’m not talking about general “end war” protest here)

    Providing women contraceptive alternatives and total control over her own body is one very good way to avoid abortions, but the fact is no one decides to have one easily. Just because a few might do so is no reason to make it illegal for everyone.

    But then yes, you have a point. My logic is somewhat flawed. Maybe you should tell this to Savita Halappanavar, who begged for her unborn child that she was already miscarrying to aborted, but Catholic Ireland has laws, so no,no…… Oh wait: you can’t, she AND her unborn child both died. Oh well. You and your fellow anti-abortionists won. “LOL”

    • Mishan says:

      More flawed logic. If we ban abortions, they will only be relegated to back streets and illegal clinics AND continue to go on (which is your logic here). Of course, much like rape is outlawed and it continues to go on in back streets and in an illegal manner. Child abuse is illegal and yet it continues to go on. Should we lift the laws on those things, too, simply because having laws against them don’t stop the behaviors entirely? I know, in order to make heroin injection and use more safe, how about we make laws decriminalizing it and then the government can set up regulated heroine injection centers? I mean, come on- according to your logic, this is a perfect solution considering the drug use will go on anyways. Might as well bring the despicable behavior out in the open, put a government stamp of approval on it via legislation, and facilitate it through tax dollars???? More failed logic.

      We don’t make something legal or illegal based on whether or not it will still happen. We make things illegal or legal based on what is right. Once you consider the science and look at the pictures of the pre-born babies that are being slaughtered at whim, we KNOW what is right and what the laws should be, rendering all your other arguments completely irrelevant.

      Also, your example of placing a parallel on abortions and war-time “collateral damage” is completely flawed logic, as well. When soldiers are trying to save human lives and collateral damage is incurred, the loss of innocent human life is ENTIRELY accidental. There is no abortion wherein the killing of the baby is accidental. More logic failing. You really need to think through your reasons for why you believe abortion is okay before you go on a public forum and say things with such obvious flaws in the logic.

      Also, in the case of the tragic death of the Indian woman in Ireland- there is no reason here why you should take this case and use it to make all abortion legal. Almost ALL cases of abortion are done for reasons other than life of the mother and that is just a fact. Ireland DOES and DID allow for abortions in the case where mothers were in desperate and urgent peril of dying. Look it up. These doctors did the wrong thing and should be brought up on malpractice just like any other doctor who does the obviously wrong thing. End of story, no need to make a law allowing every woman who decides she’s “just not ready” to go around killing the innocent life inside of her. She doesn’t even have to be “ready” to become a mother because she could give that poor, sweet child up for adoption.

      Babies inside the womb are clearly human beings. Look at the pictures. By only eight weeks of pregnancy and before many abortions even take place, ALL organs are present and in place. The baby already shows right or left hand dominance in 75% of cases! As early as twelve weeks, we have seen babies sucking their thumbs! The fact is that it is a despicable thing that we have deemed fit to take a whole class of human beings (our sons and daughters, no less) and say that their lives are not worthy and we should have the right to kill them. Like every great injustice throughout all of time, the oppressors have found a multitude of justifications and arguments why “we” should be able to kill “them”, why “we” should be able to put a cap on the value of “their” lives. The only thing we can learn from history is that we never learn from history. Science is clear on the humanity of the pre-born child and all we have is rhetoric and failed logic.

      Go to Abort73.com or just google pictures of babies in the womb. Then try googling pictures of babies slaughtered by abortion. Even the EARLIEST abortions depict a horror that any person can recognize for what it is. Doing that sort of barbarism and savagery to another human being should be no one’s “right”.

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