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New Hungarian Constitution Puts Reproductive Rights at Risk

On April 18th the Hungarian parliament passed a new constitution by a vote of 262 to 44, with 1 abstention. The new constitution contains numerous discriminatory and problematic provisions that have been criticized by civil society, the European Union and the United Nations. Of particular concern to the Center for Reproductive Rights is a provision that grants right to life protection from the moment of conception. This provision will very likely lead to efforts to restrict access to abortion in Hungary either by legislative reform or constitutional challenge and pose barriers to women accessing other reproductive health care services, such as in-vitro fertilization and emergency contraception, in violation of their fundamental human rights.

The Center for Reproductive Rights and the Hungarian Women’s Lobby submitted a legal and policy memorandum to Hungarian parliamentarians, the President and other government officials, as well to the European Parliament on this issue. The memorandum provides international human rights and European comparative law standards on the subject, showing that Hungary will have the only constitution in Europe which grants right to life protection from the moment of conception.

The Center for Reproductive Rights calls on Hungarian President Schmitt to support the health and human rights of women in Hungary by not signing the new constitution, which is required for it to go into effect, and to refer it back to Parliament for reconsideration.