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Hungary’s cheering pro-life constitution offers a shining example to a comfortable, selfish Britain

The post-Communist country has grasped what is fundamental: a respect for life

By on Thursday, 9 June 2011

Hungary's justice minister Tibor Navracsics speaks in the country's Parliament building about the new constitution (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

Hungary's justice minister Tibor Navracsics speaks in the country's Parliament building about the new constitution (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

There is cheering political news from Hungary. As reported by the Rome TV news agency, Hungary’s new constitution (since April) emphasises the country’s Christian roots by stating that life begins at conception and that all its citizens have a right to life. Gregor Puppinck, the director of the European Centre for Law and Justice, comments: “There are many debates in Europe over values… What do we believe in? Hungary has given us a strong message that values such as family, life, Christianity are important.”

Hungary’s capital, Budapest, now displays posters with the image on an unborn child and the wording: “I understand you are not ready to welcome me into your life, but give me to an adoption service. Let me live.” Cynics say that the real motive behind this laudable initiative is that Hungary’s birth rate is perilously low: 1.3 births per woman, when a ratio of 2.1 is needed to maintain the population.

I don’t think it matters if realpolitik is involved here. What matters is the positive message being sent out to the Hungarian citizenry. In Britain we pride ourselves on having an unwritten constitution. What is the point of it if our fundamental values, the basis of any healthy society, are skewed? I have been following the debates over the reform of the NHS with interest; ditto the debates over Michael Gove’s reform of the educational system. Both require a massive overhaul that is long overdue. But such reforms are secondary; what is primary is the fundamental principle of respect for life that Hungary has grasped.

Hungary suffered during the War and then under Communism; to be prosperous they now know they need a healthy birth rate. We, too, suffered during the War; luckily for us we remained a free country and in the post-War decades we experienced a previously unheard-of prosperity, dominated by the mantra, “You’ve never had it so good”. It has made us too comfortable, too individualistic, too selfish; indifferent to the unborn and callous to the elderly. Let’s take a lesson from Hungary. Let’s ask ourselves, what do we really believe in?

  • ms catholic state

    It just goes to show…..that God’s commandments and those of His Catholic Church are necessary for the well being, survival and flourishing of any society.  So-called ‘Progressive’ (ie inverted Christian) values don’t work…..and end up strangling a society.  Abortion directly and fatally affects the unborn child…..but then it comes back to haunt the ageing depleted societies that adoped it in the first place.

    The experiment in post-Christian ethics has failed.  It’s time our secular governments and the EU acknowledged this.  It’s hardly rocket-science.  But are they motivated by something more sinister and demonic?!  Like a hatred for Christianity maybe?! 

  • Disappointed

    Let’s ask ourselves, what do we really believe in?

    I don’t know. Who knows what’s down the road?

  • The Moz


  • Brian A. Cook

    Unfortunately, the Hungarian government behind this constitution has some unpleasant allegations surrounding it.  It has been accused of silencing journalists.  It has been accused of deliberately ignoring violence from right-wing extremists.  Can anyone here address these allegations?  I honestly want to contribute to the discussion.  I’d seriously like to know what else there is to the story.

  • Agnikaarttikeyaashwin

    What sort of penalty is there for the mother who aborts her child?

  • James H

    Since it’s not actually the mother who does the deed, she shouldn’t be prosecuted anyway. It’s the so-called ‘doctors’ who profit from killing who should be nailed!

  • Jacob Ford

    God will care for the journalists…I’d rather the babies had a chance at life, to give their lives for journalism even rather than having it snuffed out before it ever began.

    Perhaps if we silenced a few journalists here in America it would end a large part of the greatest holocaust in human history.

  • Jacob Ford

    Forgive my shameful grammar!

  • Mike

    There were unpleasant allegations surrounding the founding fathers of the USA, but they still got some things right. There is always “more to the story”, but can we celebrate that a nation has recognized, and is willing to state, its Christian roots and the dignity that human life begins at conception?

  • Mike

    You will never know for sure “what’s down the road.” (Until the end comes). Does that mean you cannot have any beliefs?

    Do you need to know the future to know that after conception, there is a baby that has full human dignity and therefore has rights that need the protection of law (if those rights are being threatened as they are in countries that legalize abortion).

  • David Armitage

    Sorry Francis. Harold Macmillan wasn’t in the business of manufacturing mantras in his Bedford speech to the Tories in July 1957. It was his answer to SNAFU

  • John Thomas

    I didn’t know about this, thank you. So, three cheers for Hungary. Yes, motives are mixed in most human actions, so what!

  • Ratbag

    God bless Hungary!

  • Anonymous

    Well done, Hungary!  Good news to cheer us up here in New Zealand where last week our Court of Appeal judges decided in a split decision (2 to 1) that unborn human beings do not have a right to life – in NZ.

  • Szentmihalyi Szabó Péter

    You are unable to imagine how the Hungarian government has been attacked for the same thing the author praised! The left-wing and liberal MEPs in Brussels and in Budapest have accused Mr Victor Orban with Christian fundamentalism, even fascism, nazism, anti-Semitism, using the Catholic Church for his personal ambitions, though the Prime Minister is Calvinist. We can but hope that Christianity will prevail once in the European Union, too.
                                     Dr. Peter Szentmihályi Szabó, author, Budapest  

  • Hungarian American Theater

    God bless Hungary and the United States of America! We are so proud of BOTH of you!

  • Hungarian student

    The reason of these allegations was the new media law, not the new constitution.

    As a matter of fact the new constitution says: “The human dignity is invulnerable. Each human being has the right to life and human dignity, the life of the embryo is to protect since conception. (Article II.)” In deed there has been a law on the protection of the embryo’s life in Hungary since 1992 and a huge per cent of the people allegate that this law is rather a pro choice one. I think that this law has not to be changed in spite of the new constitution, because the Constitutional Court said that the decision on the embryo’s right to life is to be made by the Parliament, but the right to life is to be protected by the government. The core qusetion is whether the embryo could have any right. If you read Article II of the new constitution once more, you could see that there has been no decision made on the embryo’s rights.