A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Portugal abortion referendum proposed

[JURIST] Voters in Portugal could go to the polls in January 2007 to vote in a referendum on the legalization of abortion [JURIST news archive] after the ruling Socialist Party [party website, in Portuguese] made the proposal [press release, in Portuguese] on Friday. A party spokesperson stated that current legislation that bans abortions [text, in Portuguese] is "socially unjust." The opposition Christian Democrats, however, plan to fight to keep abortion illegal "as a matter of principle."

The proposed referendum could legalize abortion during the first ten weeks of pregnancy. Portugal last voted on a similar referendum in 1998, when a small majority voted to keep abortion illegal. The Portuguese government attempted to hold another referendum in November 2005, but the country's constitutional court blocked [BBC report] that because President Jorge Sampaio had rejected the option earlier in that legislative session on grounds that not enough people were likely to vote. EuroNews has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.