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abortion
(11/02/06) -

Portuguese Would Vote to Legalize Abortion

- Many adults in Portugal believe pregnancy termination should be allowed in their country, according to a poll by Marktest released by Diario de Noticias and TSF. 63 per cent of respondents would vote Yes on a referendum to legalize abortion.

- Many adults in Portugal believe pregnancy termination should be allowed in their country, according to a poll by Marktest released by Diario de Noticias and TSF. 63 per cent of respondents would vote Yes on a referendum to legalize abortion.

In Portugal, abortion is only allowed in cases or rape, or those involving serious health concerns to the mother and child. In a 1998 referendum, abortion remained illegal by a margin of two per cent. Only 32 per cent of eligible voters participated in that public vote.

The Socialist Party (PS) won the February 2005 parliamentary ballot in the European nation, garnering 45.3 per cent of the vote and electing 121 lawmakers to the 230-seat Assembly of the Republic. Socialist leader Jose Socrates took over as prime minister in March.

On Oct. 16, Socrates expressed his views on the topic of abortion, saying, “What is at stake here is that women who wish to abort should be free to do so up to 10 weeks of pregnancy without being persecuted or prosecuted. The Socialist Party does not impose its will. Every person should be free and I support the Yes campaign.”

Anibal Cavaco Silva of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) won the January 2006 presidential election with 50.59 per cent of the vote. Cavaco Silva has not yet authorized the referendum, or set a date for the public vote.

The actual referendum question reads: “Do you agree that abortions, carried out in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, with the woman’s consent, in a legal medical establishment, should no longer be illegal?”

Polling Data

How would you vote on the referendum to legalize abortion?

Yes

63%

No

27%

Not sure

10%

Source: Marktest / Diario de Noticias / TSF
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 809 Portuguese adults, conducted from Oct. 17 to Oct. 20, 2006. Margin of error is 3.45 per cent.