Portugal: Legalization of abortion

Source: FSSPX News


On April 10, the president of the Portuguese republic, Anibal Cavaco Silva, promulgated a bill legalizing abortion up to the tenth week of pregnancy, while addressing a message to Parliament in order to “ensure a reasonable balance between the opposing interests.” The women who follow this procedure will have an ultrasound scan so that they can see the fetus and will have to be informed of the physical and psychological consequences which will ensue. The Portuguese president asked that doctors who did not wish to carry our abortions be allowed to offer counsel. He also asked for an assessment of the application of the law within a “reasonable timeframe”: “it will be necessary to verify, when put into practice, if this law truly contributes to a decline in numbers, not only of clandestine abortions, but also of abortion in general.”

 Mgr. Jorge Ferreira da Costa Ortiga, archbishop of Braga and president of the Portuguese Bishops Conference, stated that the Church would remain vigilant in order to avoid the “trivialization” of abortion and will take particular care that the “conscientious objection” of health professionals be respected. “The law will not restrict itself to the decriminalization of abortion, but will make it a law, a legal channel,” and the duty of the Church is to “continue insisting on the value of life.” “The conscience of all Christians and persons who give priority to life can never resign themselves to accept this unjust law.” It is regrettable, continued the archbishop, that the law does not include the obligation for the woman seeking an abortion to go through a counseling organization which, “without limiting her freedom of choice”, could have “served as a dissuasive element.”