February 7, 2007

Abortion Vote

Portugal's citizens will vote in a February 11 referendum on legalizing abortion in the country.

A previous referendum was held on the subject in 1998 and only 32% of eligible voters went to the polls rendering the results invalid.

A similar outcome may be the result of this Sunday's vote.

At present there are an estimated 23,000 "back-street" abortions in Portugal, which along with Ireland and Poland, bans the practice.

If the proposed legislation is approved, abortions will become legal in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Support for legalized abortion comes mainly from the larger cities, such as Lisbon and Porto, whereas opposition is centered in the Catholic Church and the more conservative areas in the agricultural north.

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