Despite abortions being legal in Hungary, dozens of Hungarian women are travelling to Austria each week to terminate their pregnancies due to long waiting lists and humiliating treatment.
A 32-year-old woman said for Euronews that she was sure she did not want to go through the procedure in Hungary and decided to get an abortion in Austria.
Several others also said the same, stressing that it takes a long time for them to go through the procedure in the country, and they face humiliating treatment.
While surgical abortions are legal in Hungary until the 12th week, women are still required to attend two mandatory meetings, with the first meeting informing them of other opportunities and the second meeting informing them of the dangers of the surgery.
Commenting on these two mandatory meetings, Réka Lebedi, who is a lawyer at Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, said that problems arise with these consultations as family protection services are extremely busy, leading to women running out of time to undergo the procedure.
Lebedi further stressed that women planning to undergo abortion procedures are not treated the best in these consultations, highlighting that “the intonation at these counsellings can be degrading towards the women.”
According to Euronews, Lebedi said that there is no law in Hungary that bans travelling to another country to get an abortion, and for this reason, tens of women decide to reach Austria every week for this purpose.
A gynaecologist at the Gynmed clinic in Vienna said that the facility administers up to 15 abortions to women who are residents of Hungary each week. Another clinic said that they register similar numbers every week too.
In addition, Alexandra Kovács, who is a customer service representative at Women and Health, said for Euronews that they administer up to 15 abortions to Hungarian women per week despite the prices being higher in Austria.
She said that many Hungarian women choose the clinic as they do not want to go through the Hungarian system.
The price for abortions in Austrian clinics varies between €500-600. On the other hand, the price of abortions in Hungary is €100.
Last September, the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, curbed the abortion law by requiring all women wanting to undergo the procedure to listen to the pulse that is generated by the ultrasound monitor.
Nonetheless, despite this, the number of abortions that got administered since then has increased by 15 per cent in some areas.
The law requiring women to listen to the pulse has been considered highly unethical, with gynaecologists saying that no woman has to go through this.