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Abortions drop significantly in Hungary, down almost 23% in 5 years

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Hungary’s abortion rate has fallen a dramatic 22.9% from 2010 to 2015, deputy state secretary for family and demographic policy Tünde Fűrész said Monday. The rate, however, remains relatively high among European nations.

There remains one abortion for every three live births, she told the daily Magyar Hírlap newspaper, higher than the overall European average of one for every five. She noted that Eastern European abortion rates tend to be higher due to their heritage under Communism.

Such countries are considered to have “abortion cultures,” meaning elective abortions were legalized earlier than in Western Europe, before the legalization of contraception, leading to abortion’s use primarily as a family planning method and a lack of major moral or ideological opposition to abortion.

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Preborn lives are recognized in Hungary’s Constitution, though elective abortions remain legal for up to 12 weeks. Fűrész said the government had no further plans to restrict abortion at the moment, but suggested abortions could be reduced through forms of state support, such as religious education and ethics classes.

In the United States, evidence suggests that contraception is ubiquitous enough that further government dissemination of it would be ineffective, while abstinence-based education shows great potential for reducing abortion rates.

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