Log In
Wednesday 26th April 2017

Portugal backs abortion

15th February 2007

After a clear majority in a referendum voted for the proposal, Portugal's government has pledged to legalise abortion in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.


The result is not legally binding as fewer than half the electorate voted, however the pro-reform governing Socialists had already made clear beforehand that they would act on the result. Fifty nine per cent of voters backed the reform. 

The Catholic Church appealed for people who did not feel able to vote "No" to abstain. The diocese of Dom Jorge Ortiga, Archbishop of Braga and President of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference is in the Catholic heartland of northern Portugal, where a majority of voters rejected reform. This contrasts with Lisbon and the south where there were large majorities in favour.

Prime Minister Jose Socrates said that work on the law would start immediately. He added that the law would provide for "a period of reflection" for a woman considering having an abortion.

There are already well-established illegal practitioners in Portugal, with poorer women resorting to backstreet abortions. Those campaigning against the law have called for more generous maternity benefits in order to encourage women to carry on with their pregnancies.


Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Article Information

Title: Portugal backs abortion
Author: Sue Knights
Article Id: 2022
Date Added: 15th Feb 2007


BBC News

Recent Related Articles

Simon Stevens backs plans for savings drive


Add to scrapbook
Show Comments
Add comment
Find all related articles


M3 - For secure managed hosting over N3 or internet
© Mayden Foundation 2017