Portugal Referendum Could Legalize Abortion

This Sunday Portugal will hold a national referendum to legalize abortion up to the 10th week of pregnancy. Portugal currently has one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, with the procedure banned except in cases of rape, fetal malformation, or if a woman’s life or health is at risk.

Criminalization of abortion has not reduced the number of women seeking abortion care in Portugal. According to a Reuters article, over 20,000 Portuguese women put their lives at risk each year through dangerous self-induced or back-alley abortions. Thousands more women terminate unwanted pregnancies in underground private clinics or travel to other countries with less restrictive abortion laws.

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