New LAW – Women Must Do This Before Having Abortion.
(ConservativeInsider.org) – For years, Hungary has been trying to boost its declining fertility rates. One way it did this was to give married couples a €30,600 (about $30,000 US) government loan after their wedding that gets completely forgiven after they have their third child. This did boost the number of marriages in the country to a 40-year high, as well as minimize the divorce rate. Now, however, the government is going one step further in an attempt to increase the population by limiting abortion.
Prime Minister Announces Heartbeat Requirement
As of Thursday, September 15, all Hungarians hoping to get an abortion must now listen to their child’s heartbeat before getting a referral for the procedure. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced the new law, highlighting his desire to return the country to family values, including the traditional belief that a child’s life begins with the first heartbeat.
Orbán has led the country since 2010, and this is one of his many moves to try and boost the birth rate among the native population. However, he has faced difficulty as abortion is widely accepted by the country’s culture.
Noá Nógradí, a representative from Hungarian women’s rights organization Patent, told The Guardian most locals do not actually want to see more abortion restrictions, making it difficult for the government to “outlaw the procedure overnight.” By using small steps such as the heartbeat law, the right-leaning leader will likely be able to move the whole culture that way.
Are Declining Birth Rates Something to Worry About?
If a country wants to keep its economy growing, it needs a workforce. These entrepreneurs and employees must either come from the native population or immigrants. So, when a country’s birth rate falls, experts start to worry about its economic future.
In the US, the total fertility rate, which measures how many children a woman will have in her life, fell to 1.64 in 2020, according to Brookings. This rate clearly would not replenish a population, as the expected fertility rate to do that is around 2.1.
American women are not only having fewer kids, but they are also having them later in life. In 2018, the median age for a woman to have her first child was 26.9, up from 22.7 in 1980. These statistics imply the US may soon be facing a population crisis similar to Hungary’s.
Abortions Laws, Culture Wars, and the Future of America
While abortion laws are becoming more thorough and clear-cut in Hungary, the United States now has 50 different levels of abortion restrictions, as states can now decide these for themselves. In the coming years, it will be fascinating to see how birth rates change in states with less abortion access. In addition, as these laws change over time, cultural beliefs around when a child’s life begins will likely also morph into a more common consensus in our nation.
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