Monday, February 12, 2007

Choice wins in Portugal

Portugal went to the polls over the weekend in a referendum over whether to legalise abortion (currently illegal except in cases of rape, deformity, or the health of the mother). But while a clear majority of voters backed legalisation, turnout fell below the 50% required to make it legally binding. Despite this, the Portugese Prime Minister has announced that his government will legalise anyway - meaning that Portugese women will no longer have to cross the border into Spain or risk their lives in a backstreet clinic.

This will leave only Ireland, Malta and Poland banning abortion within the EU. I wonder how long it will take before they catch up with the modern world?


"currently illegal except in cases of rape, deformity, or the health of the mother"

So presently about the same as New Zealand, then?

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 2/12/2007 02:28:00 PM

On a straight reading of the law, yes, though they have shorter time limits. The real difference is that New Zealand interprets the mental or physical health of the mother rather more liberally, meaning that we effectively have abortion on demand (at least, if you demand it of two "certifying consultants").

While I'd like to see our law liberalised, there's no question that its implementation makes abortion far more accessible here than in Portugal.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/12/2007 03:02:00 PM