18 November 2019
In recent weeks, profile pictures have gone black and many have used the #DarkestDay hashtag on social networking sites. The reason for this is the recent adoption of a new abortion law in Northern Ireland, which has shaken the whole world since the law allows abortion even when the baby’s sex is not the expected one. Pecsma.hu had an interview in connection with this with Dr. Béla Veszprémi, obstetrician-gynaecologist, specialist in clinical genetics at the Clinical Center Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
The new law allows Northern Irish girls and women to apply for free abortion until the 28th week of pregnancy (7 months) in the case of “fatal or severe foetal abnormality”, and even selectively performed abortion in the case of sex and disability has been legalized as well.
According to Dr. Béla Veszprémi, obstetrician-gynaecologist, specialist in clinical genetics at the Clinical Center Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, abortion can be performed up to 12 weeks in Hungary if the mother is in a financial, psychological, physical or other crisis, or the foetal risk - for example because of medication, illness, X-ray - exceeds 10 percent. In such cases, the surgery is free of charge, while based on social reasons it has a fee.
In case of an emergency crisis, pregnant women can ask the Family Protection Service for a protocol that allows the abortion, whereas in the case of foetal risk, a genetic counsellor issues it. However, they only receive the document after three days, just to give them some more time to think. They will also receive information about the chances if they decide to have the baby. If they still want the abortion, they have the legal opportunity to do so.
According to the expert, in Northern Ireland abortion for up to 28 weeks is extreme because the foetus can already weigh 1000 to 1200 grams. The neonatologist colleagues are likely to provide a good quality of life for a 28-week-old foetus. In the opinion of the specialist, testing in order to choose the sex of the baby is unacceptable, and the national laboratories are prohibited from carrying out tests for this purpose unless there is the chance of an inherited disease in connection with one of the sexes. He added that although it had been suggested earlier that if families with three same-sex children had had the opportunity to determine the sex of the child by the fourth pregnancy, perhaps more people would have had one more child of the desired sex but that abortion would only have been possible until week 12 as well.