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New Portugal abortion law to take effect July 15

[JURIST] The Portuguese government officially published a new abortion law [JURIST report] Thursday, formally adopting the law and paving the way for it to enter effect on July 15. The law allows abortions [JURIST news archive] during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy free of charge at a public hospital, but requires a meeting with a doctor who will be required to warn of the potential dangers followed by a three-day mandatory "reflection" period. Women will also be required to attend family planning education within two weeks following an abortion to be educated on contraception methods.

The law, passed [JURIST report] in March by the Portuguese National Assembly [official website, in Portuguese], was proposed to liberalize abortion legislation [JURIST report] after a general referendum on abortion failed [JURIST report] due to low turnout. Approximately 60 percent of those who voted in the referendum supported a reform of the former law, which only permitted abortion in cases of rape, fetal malformation, or risk to the mother's health. President Anibal Cavaco Silva signed the law in April and the Health Ministry has spent the past few weeks drafting guidelines to accompany the law. AP has more.

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