Hungary in a bid to give a boost to its declining population has decided to fund fertility treatment to childless couples. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Viktor Orban earlier this week stating that his government has taken over six fertility clinics for the treatment.
The free IVF treatments for couples will begin from February 1 onwards. Couples with four or more children already receive tax exemptions and Orban is considering to extend that to families that have 3 or more children.
Hungary's population has been declining for close to four decades now and it is estimated that its population will decrease from 9.8 million to 8 million by 2050.
Right-wing leader Orban has advocated procreation instead of immigration as a possible solution. He wishes to rely on ways closer to home rather than asking for immigrants to settle in the country. He hopes that the fertility drive will add 4,000 births to Hungary's population in the next two years.
In addition to the obvious cause of the declining population, which is fewer people being born than dying, is because large numbers of Hungarians are also leaving the country. It is estimated that almost eight per cent of Hungarian graduates are living and working abroad.
In related news, the French Parliament has permitted single women and lesbians to have babies with medical help. France's lower house of Parliament passed the bioethics bill on October 15, 2019, which will let lesbians and single women utilise fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization. The opponents, however, did not support the decision.
The provision of medically assisted reproduction was only available for heterosexual couples. The critics, however, will take the bill forward and fight for its implementation as it moves to the Senate. The bill received a majority with 114 votes in favour out of 359 votes in the national assembly and 72 abstentions. This is considered as the first major social reform of Emmanuel Macron’s government. However, the bill needs approval from the upper house before it can be turned into law.