Politicians To Legalize Abortion In Portugal
LISBON (AFP) - Portugal's Prime Minister Jose Socrates vowed to legalize abortion after voters backed the move in a referendum even though turnout was not high enough to make it binding.
Nearly 60 percent of those who cast ballots in the predominantly Roman Catholic country approved a government proposal to give all women the right to an abortion up to the 10th week of pregnancy, according to official final results.
"The results of this referendum are clear, it proves that the Portuguese people want to turn the page on the question of abortion," Socrates said.
But turnout in Portugal's second referendum on its abortion law in less than a decade was 43.6 percent, below the 50 percent threshold needed to make the ballot legally binding.
Socrates pledged his Socialist government will now use its parliamentary majority to legalize abortion.
Next popular referendum issue: Should a patient be allowed to have an appendectomy?