The Hungarian government has announced that it will offer free IVF to women, in a move likely to increase tensions with the country’s Catholics.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán brought the country’s six fertility clinics under state ownership last month. He said that “we want Hungarian children instead of immigrants”.
Why was it under-reported?
Curiously, the story received much more attention in the secular press than in Catholic media sources. But the Church’s opposition to IVF, which involves the destruction of embryos, makes this a possible turning point in Orbán’s relationship with Catholics.
Matthew Schmitz, senior editor of First Things and a Herald columnist, tweeted: “Catholic opposition to abortion and contraception is not the same thing as nationalist natalism… Destroying embryos rather than letting in migrants is not the way to honour one’s ‘Christian roots.’”
What will happen next?
The bishops’ conference told the Catholic Herald: “The teachings of the Catholic Church are formulated in the Catechism and in the Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae on the Value and Inviolability of Human Life written by Saint John Paul II.”
The bishops said that the proposals are “in a preliminary state; therefore we are not enable the to form an opinion on them without a knowledge of the precise details and facts.”
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